Reuters has put forth an interesting theory: It is not what you have to say; it is how quickly you can get to a trademark office and file a trademark application. The publication's sentiment comes after a rush of Americans have taken to trademarking catchy phrases, particularly in light of the recent presidential race.
Reuters notes that "there were 391,837 trademark applications filed last year, with the number growing an average of 5 percent annually, government reports show." It claims the surge "is the result of headline-grabbing cases like socialite Paris Hilton's winning settlement of a lawsuit over her trademarked catch-phrase 'That's Hot' from her former television reality show, said trademark attorney Howard Hogan of Washington."
Trump has also been a powerful force in this sense. "Two days before Trump's inauguration on Jan. 20, Donald J. Trump for President Inc applied to trademark the phrase he said he intends to use for his 2020 re-election campaign: 'Keep America Great,' both with and without an exclamation point. The campaign committee already owns the trademark for Trump's 2016 slogan: 'Make America Great Again.,'" writes Reuters.
Three days after "Nasty Woman" grabbed headlines when Trump used it to describe his opponent Hilary Clinton in an Oct. 19, 2016 debate, entrepreneurs across America started filing trademark applications for the phrase. There are at least 11 applications pending to trademark "Nasty Woman" for the sale of products as wide-ranging as pillows, wine, firearms, scented body spray, mugs, backpacks and jewelry. As such, there is a budding IP war in place for the term.