YOLO {You Only Live Once} appeared on numerous ‘words of 2012′ lists. The rapper Drake who popularized the term in his hit single ‘The Motto’ has been tweeting his disapproval of companies cashing in on the words popularity. Tweeting a picture of a shelving unit crammed with baseball hats sporting the word, Drake captioned the picture with ‘”Walgreens….you gotta either chill or cut the cheque”. He later also tweeted a picture of t-shirts being sold at Macy’s with YOLO emblazoned on the front. Drake appears to believe that he should be getting royalties for creating, or at least popularizing the word, yet can people trademark words?

Many celebrities have tried to trademark words that they have made famous. It was widely reported that Jay-Z and Beyonce attempted to trademark their daughters name Blue Ivy, but their bid was rejected by the patents office. Paris Hilton successfully trademarked her catchphrase ‘that’s hot’ but only in certain instances. Basketball coach¬†Pat Riley did however manage to trademark the words ’3-peat’ and ‘three-peat’ entirely, meaning that he would be entitled to royalties if the words were to appear on commercial products like t-shirts. Of course many words that are trademarked have entered into our everyday language. Words like Tupperware, bubble wrap and jacuzzi are all brand names and trademarked. As long as you don’t attempt to sell products with these words on them. no lawyers should come knocking at your door.

via: Billboard