KFC cannot trademark its Chicken Zinger, and 9 ridiculous trademark fights

DailyBiteFeb 16, 2023 | 16:42

KFC cannot trademark its Chicken Zinger, and 9 ridiculous trademark fights

KFC loses bid to trademark 'Chicken Zinger'. Photo: DailyO/KFC

Celebrities and companies have regularly tried to trademark something completely ridiculous. Sometimes their wishes were granted (we can't believe it!), while at others they went back with nothing. 


US fast food chain KFC tried to trademark 'Chicken Zinger' on its menu but the Delhi High Court threw out the appeal. 

  • Delhi HC rejected KFC's bid to trademark the name 'Chicken Zinger', saying that they couldn't trademark the word 'chicken'.

If you think that's common sense and KFC should have thought it through, check out these other companies (and people) who tried to go beyond common sense to trademark the most ridiculous things. Sometimes they won, other times, thankfully, they did not. 

1. Amitabh Bachchan

Delhi HC gave an interim order in favour of Amitabh Bachchan who sought to protect his "personality rights".

  • Under the rights, Amitabh Bachchan's name, voice and other mannerisms cannot be used for commercial purposes without permission. 
  • Delhi HC granted Bachchan the rights in order to curb misuse of the actor's name and brand value. 

2. Kajol

Actor Kajol has also tried to trademark her name in various business categories to prevent misuse of her name and brand value. 

3. Walmart

The US retail corporation tried to trademark the yellow smiley that's been around for ages in 2006. Yes, the basic emoticon that we have all come to know could have been a Walmart property. But the court denied the rights and rightfully so. 

4. Paris Hilton

"That's hot!" was made famous by the Hilton hotel heiress and when Hallmark used the catchphrase in a greeting card, she sued them. And Hilton won the case. Now, "That's hot!" is exclusively a Paris Hilton catchphrase. 


That's (not) hot.

5. Twitter

Do you know that Twitter doesn't own the trademark rights to the word "tweet"? Yes, it's true. Unfortunately, Twitter was too late to the party to trademark a noun it created. A third-party developer called Twittad offering Twitter-based advertising service had already trademarked the phrase, "Let Your Ad Meet Tweets."

6. Donald Trump

There are two things that Trump wanted to trademark: one, his favourite catchphrase "You're fired" from a reality show; and the second - "Make America Great Again". Trump didn't win the first one because it was too similar to "You're Hired", which was already trademarked.

  • And he got "Make America Great Again" trademarked in only 2015.

7. Mariah Carey

The American singer is synonymous in the US with Christmas after her holiday hit "All I Want for Christmas". And so, Carey decided to trademark the titles "Queen of Christmas", "Princess Christmas", "QOC" among other things. However, there were other artists who contested the claims and Carey did not win the case. 

8. Harley Davidson

The motorcycle makers wanted to trademark the sound of a Harley Davidson's revving engine; safe to say, they did not win. Apparently, all other engines sound the same. 

9. Beyoncé and JAY-Z

The American celebrity couple has trademarked the name of their child Blue Ivy Carter under Beyonce's company. While you can absolutely name your kid Blue Ivy or Blue Ivy Carter, you can't use the name for business and commercial reasons.

Last updated: February 16, 2023 | 16:42
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