8 Simple Sounds That Are Trademarked By Huge Companies

nbc peacock 1968

Photo: YouTube/144wychwood

Most of us are aware that you can trademark a slogan, a logo, and a name, but did you know that you can also trademark a sound?In order to get approval from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, however, the sound must “uniquely identify the commercial origin of the product or service.”

Click here for 8 of the most recognisable trademarked sounds >
It may seem like a fairly cut-and-dried process, but keep in mind that the folks at Harley-Davidson were denied trademark status on the (allegedly) unique “potato-potato-potato” sound of a Harley’s engine.

Here are some sounds that passed muster and are officially trademarked:

Click here for 8 of the most recognisable trademarked sounds >
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The NBC Chimes

The famous NBC chime was the first sound to ever be trademarked, back in 1950. For the musicians in the audience, those three musical notes are G, E, and C.

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The MGM Lion

There have been five different lions used for the MGM logo. The first lion to roar (and the one who provided the trademarked sound) was named Jackie.

The 20th Century Fox Fanfare

The music that plays behind the 20th Century Fox logo was composed by Alfred Newman, who served as the head of the studio's music department for over 20 years. Throughout his career, he won a total of nine Academy Awards.

Harlem Globetrotter's Theme (Sweet Georgia Brown)

The Harlem Globetrotter's iconic sound was originally recorded by Brother Bones and His Shadows. The 'Trotters adopted it as their signature tune in 1952.

Lucasfilms THX Deep Note

The synthesized crescendo was created by Dr. James A. Moorer, and debuted in theatres as the 1983 trailer for Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.

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Intel Inside Bong

Composed by Walter Werzowa in his home studio, the five note logo is allegedly broadcast somewhere in the world every five minutes.

Federal Signal Q2B Siren

This siren was first heard screeching from almost all emergency vehicles, but now, the sound is primarily used by fire engines.


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