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Music History Events: Patents and Trademarks

June 9, 2017 Gene Simmons of Kiss files a trademark application for the devil horns hand gesture, which he claims he invented in 1974.More

February 22, 1994 Prince is granted the trademark on the symbol he has been using as his name.More

October 26, 1993 Michael Jackson is awarded a patent for the system that allows him to lean in unnatural angles during performances of "Smooth Criminal." To recreate the video on stage, Jackson and his dancers wore special shoes that they could insert into pegs set up on stage for the famous lean.More

July 13, 1897 A US patent is granted to inventor Guglielmo Marconi for transmitting electrical signals, leading to the invention of radio.

January 6, 1968 Gibson patents their "Flying V" electric guitar.

April 10, 1956 Leo Fender patents the successor to his popular "Telecaster" model of electric guitar, this time called the "Stratocaster."

July 10, 1950 The Victor Talking Machine Company trademarks the phrase "His Master's Voice," which refers to the dog in their logo (Nipper) listening to a record player because he thinks it is his owner. The company later becomes the record label RCA Victor.

November 8, 1887 Emile Berliner is granted the first patent for the gramophone. In the 1890s, he starts manufacturing gramophone players and discs, but in the early 1900s the Victor Talking Machine company becomes the market leader.

February 19, 1878 Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.

March 10, 2021 Mariah Carey files an application to trademark the phrase "Queen Of Christmas."

October 8, 2019 Pitbull trademarks his famous "grito" yell, making it one of the few sounds protected by trademark, and likely the first by a musical artist.

October 25, 2014 Taylor Swift applies to trademark several phrases related to her album 1989, including "Party Like It's 1989," "This Sick Beat" and "Cause We Never Go Out Of Style." When granted, this would give her exclusive rights to use the phrases on an array of items, including pot holders, ornaments and removable tattoos.

July 28, 1992 Prince trademarks the male/female symbol he has been using on various album covers and promotional materials. He later re-designs the symbol and uses it as his name.More

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