Taylor Swift Settles Lucky 13 Legal Battle
Taylor Swift ended an 18-month legal dispute when the singer reached a settlement after being sued over her use of the term “Lucky 13” on merchandise and other marketing endeavors. Terms of the settlement, which allowed Swift to avoid a trial, were confidential, The Hollywood Reporter writes.
In May 2014, clothing company Blue Sphere, which has owned a trademark on the Lucky 13 brand since 1991, sued the singer, alleging that she infringed on their trademark when she released her own line of shirts with “Lucky 13” written on them starting in March 2012. Swift also partnered with American Greetings Corp. to market Lucky 13 greeting cards. In their suit, Blue Sphere accused Swift of harming their brand and confusing their target audience.
In an affidavit, taken because the singer’s legal team said Swift was too busy touring to testify, the singer said she had “no knowledge related to the design, marketing, advertising, distribution and sale of the accused T-shirt.” However, Blue Sphere argued that Swift’s “claims of ignorance are not credible,” as she has a reputation of being heavily involved in her business decisions, the New York Daily News reported in August.
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The situation snowballed this August when a judge ruled that Swift had to give a deposition regarding what she knew about the Lucky 13 brand before agreeing to market the phrase on her own. In a bizarre twist, Blue Sphere also demanded all photographs and videos in which Swift’s “buttocks or breasts were at least partially visible,” a request that Swift’s legal team deemed as harassment. Blue Sphere also requested documents from major companies Swift had partnered with in recent years, including Elizabeth Arden, Toyota and Coca-Cola.
As The Hollywood Reporter notes, it’s because of the Lucky 13 situation that Swift’s business managers have taken to trademarking lyrics and phrases popularized by the singer, like “This Sick Beat,” “Party Like It’s 1989,” “Could Show You Incredible Things,” “Cause We Never Go Out of Style” and “Nice to Meet You. Where You Been?” These phrases have gone on to appear on 1989 Tour merchandise.