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Author Topic: Jingle patent law  (Read 2547 times)

Poyce

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Jingle patent law
« on: 12-01-16 at 05:07 pm »

Hello to all that've taken the time to read this thread.

Me and my friend have an argument we need to be settled by experts in this legal area,

When a company acquires a 'jingle' which later becomes synonymous with their brand (I.e. Intel's 5 notes), does the company acquire this on an individual patent, or does it become absorbed into an almost umbrella patenet of their overall intellectual property.

Failing a direct answer, perhaps you could point us in the direction of a reference or source that in which we could read further upon this topic

Thank you in advance,

Kind regards,

Fabian Joyce & Kieron Pickles
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still_learnin

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Re: Jingle patent law
« Reply #1 on: 12-01-16 at 07:17 pm »

I don't have an answer, but know enough to say you're using the wrong terminology.

Patents don't apply here. Trademark, or maybe copyright, or both. If by "jingle" you mean "music," the music itself may be copyrighted. And a trademark may be registered to protect the association between the music and the brand.

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The above is not legal advice, and my participation in discussions on this forum does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Robert K S

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Re: Jingle patent law
« Reply #2 on: 12-01-16 at 09:41 pm »

The "Intel Spiral" (as it is officially titled) or "Intel Inside Bong" (as it more commonly called) almost certainly has both trademark and copyright protection, although I admit my cursory search on TESS did not pull up a registration.  I'm not even sure if sonic trademarks are searchable on TESS.

http://www.intelfreepress.com/news/intel-bong-chime-jingle-sound-mark-history/8390/
http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanpassman/2016/11/02/intel-netflix-apple-and-the-power-and-influence-of-sonic-branding/#1d307d7933df
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Tobmapsatonmi

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Re: Jingle patent law
« Reply #3 on: 12-02-16 at 02:16 am »

Hi Poyce.  You're on the right track, but using incorrect terminology as mentioned above.  Patents are for inventions, and copyright is to protect artistic expression (whether in words or art or music, sculpture, what have you).  So an actual commercial jingle (short lyric song, for example) would likely be covered by copyright.

But when it comes to protecting the ability to identify the source of a good or service, which I think is what you're talking about here, that's the province of trademarks.  This can be the name of the product or company providing it, specific colors that have become associated with it, or specific short sounds that identify the company or its products like as in the Intel sound mark you mention, or the ATT Sonic sound logo, or the T-Mobile ding-ding-ding-DING-ding sound mark.

The US patent and trademark office has a short (non-exhaustive) descriptive page with examples of sounds acting as trademarks, which I've linked below.  Not sure if the law is identical in UK, though.  But at least in the US, it does appear that these sound marks are separately registrable as identifiers of the respective companies' services/goods.  Some of these are very brief (NBC's "three note chime") while others are longer, and I personally question whether they really function as a TM (the Beneficial jingle, for example, listed next after the NBC chimes).

https://www.uspto.gov/trademark/soundmarks/trademark-sound-mark-examples

Also a good discussion with other examples: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_trademark
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Robert K S

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Re: Jingle patent law
« Reply #4 on: 12-02-16 at 11:24 am »

That web page is a cool find, and it leads us right to the registration for "Intel Spiral":

Quote
(6) FOR SITUATIONS FOR WHICH NO DRAWING IS POSSIBLE, SUCH AS SOUND
Goods and Services   IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: computer hardware and computer operating software, microprocessors, integrated circuits and semiconductor devices. FIRST USE: 19941000. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19941000
Mark Drawing Code   (6) FOR SITUATIONS FOR WHICH NO DRAWING IS POSSIBLE, SUCH AS SOUND
Serial Number   75332744
Filing Date   July 29, 1997
Current Basis   1A
Original Filing Basis   1A
Published for Opposition   November 16, 1999
Registration Number   2315261
Registration Date   February 8, 2000
Owner   (REGISTRANT) Intel Corporation CORPORATION DELAWARE 2200 Mission College Blvd. Santa Clara CALIFORNIA 95052
Attorney of Record   Katherine M. Basile
Description of Mark   The mark consists of a five tone audio progression of the notes D FLAT, D FLAT, G, D FLAT and A FLAT.
Type of Mark   TRADEMARK
Register   PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text   SECT 15. SECT 8 (6-YR). SECTION 8(10-YR) 20100326.
Renewal   1ST RENEWAL 20100326
Live/Dead Indicator   LIVE
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still_learnin

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Re: Jingle patent law
« Reply #5 on: 12-02-16 at 11:27 am »

When a company acquires a 'jingle' which later becomes synonymous with their brand (I.e. Intel's 5 notes), does the company acquire this on an individual patent, or does it become absorbed into an almost umbrella patent of their overall intellectual property.

I'm no expert on copyrights, and I'm not quite sure what you mean by "absorbed" ... but I'll take a stab at what I think is your actual question. 

The author of a musical work has a copyright in the music he creates, unless that music was a "work for hire." If Intel hired the songwriter specifically to create the jingle, Intel owns the copyright. if not, they might buy the copyright from the songwriter.

The recording of the music is another copyright, separate from the composition. Again, Intel either owns this as a work for hire, or might buy the copyright.

The registration of the sound trademark -- protecting the association in the consumer's mind between the sound and the company -- is separate from the copyrights.

So there are individual forms of intellectual property here. I suppose you could say that, together, they make up a "portfolio." 
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