Long has the phrase “This Sick Beat” been associated with Taylor Swift—as in: “Man, what is this sick beat?” “Dude! That’s popular elf Taylor Swift!”—and now that bond is official. The singer, who’s previously inscribed her name on everything from the smell of wonderstruckness to the entire city of New York, has been given a trademark for the phrase “This Sick Beat” by the U.S. Patent Office. From this day forward, any and all sick beats belong to Taylor Swift, under penalty of law.
More specifically, Swift owns the sole right to use “This Sick Beat”—along with four other phrases from her latest album, 1989—in association with “public appearances,” as well as an entire flea market full of potential products that you might want to put it on. Were you planning on making a “This Sick Beat” Christmas ornament to celebrate the birth and blessed sick beats of baby Jesus? Nope, Taylor Swift owns that. Looking to start an “educational service” dedicated to schooling the public on “This Sick Beat” and the measures they can take to keep it from spreading? You have to first call Taylor Swift, now the government’s designated Czar of Sick Beats.
Furthermore, you can’t “Party Like It’s 1989”—at least, in any sense besides throwing an actual party where you, say, watch Dead Poets Society, listen to Milli Vanilli, and spill 240,000 barrels of oil in Alaska. And if you do, definitely don’t make any “Party Like It’s 1989”-branded paper plates, hosiery, or wind chimes to hand out as party favors. All of those things are listed in Swift’s trademarks as expressly verboten, as are “non-medicated preparations for the care of skin, scalp, body, or hair.” If you’d like to sell “Party Like It’s 1989” lice shampoo, on the other hand, go right ahead.
However, any “removable tattoo transfers” that say, “Cause We Never Go Out Of Style” will have to be immediately washed off under Swift’s slit-eyed glare. Taylor Swift “Could Show You Incredible Things”—such as the cease-and-desist letter she made for your homemade apron that says that. And “Nice To Meet You. Where You Been?” is no longer just a fun, flirty pick-up line. It’s the line of interrogation you’ll face in court over your unauthorized use of it as the name of your “entertainment service.” The answer is “I’ve been fucking up.”
As explainer site Vox helpfully explainer-sites, this all “seems silly,” but it’s actually “a smart business move” that could deter, for example, bootleg “This Sick Beat” T-shirts appearing at Swift concerts, as well as bootleg “This Sick Beat” wind chimes. And of course, it guarantees that no one will ever say “This Sick Beat” without immediately thinking of Taylor Swift, as though that were ever in question.