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Selling to the ears

patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
edited June 2009 in Marketing
Registering a sound trademark.  Selling to the ears and not just the eyes.


Are you aware that sounds can be registered as trademarks?  Well, they can.  Here is a page at USPTO listing a number of famous sounds such as:

The NBC chimes
The AOL “you’ve got mail”
The MGM roaring lion
The AT&T chime
The Pillsbury “giggle” – think doughboy


http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/ac/ahr ... sound.html


In the good ole days, sounds were largely the province of companies that advertised products on television, produced multi-media, sold via radio stations, etc.  With the advent of MP3 files and their potential use on websites, it would seem that more sounds could be registered.  Of course, you need to more than just come up with a unique sound and plop it down on a website.  The sound must be “used in commerce” - which is not always an easy thing to do.  Like all successful trademark, sound trademarks build loyalty and good will – and generally increase in value over time.


  • patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    not necessarily, but most sound trademaks are pretty short.  The sound trademaks have to be used in connection with the sale of the good/service, while songs don`t have to be used to sell anything.  Also, copyrights expire, while trademarks can live forever.
    In theory, the same sound could be used to sell two very different products with no legal problems.
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