Trademark Protections for Podcasts

Inspired by last week’s blog about clearance searches, which used the podcast “Cocaine and Rhinestones” as an example, I was curious about how frequently major podcasts were seeking protection for their names. To do so, I reviewed the top 100 podcasts on iTunes as of today. That won’t identify the 100 most enduringly popular podcasts, but it’s fine as a snapshot of a large group of successful podcasts.

Pod_by_app

Under half of this select group – 43% – have active pending trademark applications or trademark registrations with the USPTO. The most active filers are larger media organizations or those longstanding radio shows like NPR, TED, or the Dave Ramsey Show. More independent podcasts were considerably less likely to have filed.

Apple’s categorizations are a bit more rigorous than randomly assigned numbers, but not much, so the “Subject” category is all over the map. True crime podcasts seem to fall into one of about six categories, and many others are almost as arbitrary. For a representative example, TED Talks Daily is in Education, and TED Radio Hour in Technology.

Pod_by_topic

Full data is included below. This is just a snapshot of the current iTunes top 100, which is almost certainly not representative of podcasts across the board. These are likely to be larger and more successful, and thus more likely than average to be the subject of trademark filings. Some of these with earlier registration dates are registered for radio services or something very closely related; they’re still included below. Interestingly, a few newer independent podcasts filed applications that included a bunch of merchandising goods but not the podcast proper. It’s possible that that lines up more directly with the podcaster’s revenue, but, at least as of 2015, advertisers paid a premium for podcast listeners over traditional radio listeners, and the total podcast advertising market has only grown since then.

Rank Podcast Subject Filed Counsel
1 Oprah’s Master Class: The Podcast Society & Culture Abandoned

86535938

Filed 2015

Jessica Rothstein
2 Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood TV & Film No  
3 The Wilderness News & Politics Abandoned

86720837

 
4 Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History History 5334719

Filed 2017

Frank Curci
5 The Joe Rogan Experience Comedy No  
6 The Daily News & Politics 87791592 Jordan LaVine
7 Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard Comedy No  
8 Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness Society & Culture No  
9 Stuff You Should Know Society & Culture 3983155

Filed 2011

Jim Vana
10 Hidden Brain Science & Medicine 4042777

Filed 2010

 
11 VIEWS with David Dobrik and Jason Nash Comedy No  
12 Serial News & Politics 86454424

86464485

86454420

Filed 2014

Sean Fifield
13 Revisionist History Society & Culture 5259072

Filed 2016

 
14 My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark Comedy 5519542

Filed 2017

Merchandise

Justin Sobodash
15 Pull Up with CJ McCollum Professional No  
16 Kickass News News & Politics No  
17 This American Life Personal Journals 2266765 and more

Filed 1998

Sean Fifeld
18 TED Talks Daily Education 3766908

and more

Filed 2009

Alan Taboada
19 Minutes to Freedom: A Warrior’s Daily Focus on Journals and Meditations Personal Journals No  
20 Duolingo Spanish Podcast Language Courses 4588574

Filed 2014

Perry Viscounty
21 Blinking Red – The Dan Rather Podcast News & Politics No  
22 Up and Vanished News & Politics No  
23 Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations Society & Culture 87907738

Filed 2017

Tamara Carmichael
24 S-Town Personal Journals 5323056

5323149

Filed 2017

Sean Fifeld
25 How I Built This with Guy Raz Business 5306698

Filed 2017

Janet Cullum
26 Freakonomics Radio Society & Culture 3954795

Filed 2010

Peter Fields
27 TED Radio Hour Technology 3766908

and more

Filed 2009

Alan Taboada
28 Pod Save America News & Politics 5402998

Filed 2017

Monica Richman
29 The Ben Shapiro Show News & Politics 87743876

Filed 2018

 
30 Up First News & Politics 87377209

Filed 2017

Janet Cullum
31 RISE podcast Business No  
32 Aaron Mahnke’s Cabinet of Curiosities History No  
33 In the Dark News & Politics No  
34 Fresh Air Arts 1683293

Filed 1992

Malcolm Stevenson
35 Something You Should Know Society & Culture No  
36 The Dave Ramsey Show Investing 3145275

3233048

Filed 2005/6

Matt Blackburn
37 Everything is Alive Society & Culture No  
38 Lore History No  
39 Business & Biceps Management & Marketing No  
40 Sword and Scale Social Sciences 5216335

Filed 2016

Heather Sapp
41 Planet Money Business 3734960

Filed 2008

Janet Cullum
42 Nobody Told Me! Self-Help No  
43 Chicks in the Office Society & Culture 87663301

Filed 2017

Elizabeth Sbardellati
44 RISE Together Self-Help 87958397

Filed 2018

Pattie Christensen
45 Radiolab Natural Sciences 3943633

Filed 2010

 
46 Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Comedy 2248094

Filed 1997

Janet Cullum
47 Broken Record Music 88049023

88049021

Filed 2018

Dan Zupnick
48 Shane And Friends Comedy No  
49 Dirty John Personal Journals No  
50 The Good Life with Stevie & Sazan Society & Culture No  
51 Last Podcast On The Left Comedy No  
52 Household Name Business No  
53 Criminal Personal Journals No  
54 Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel Society & Culture No  
55 Stuff You Missed in History Class History No  
56 The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast Higher Education No  
57 Pardon My Take Sports & Recreation 5269331

5156241

Filed 2016

Jesse Saivar
58 Small Doses with Amanda Seales Comedy No  
59 Cover-Up History No  
60 House of Kim with Kim Zolciak TV & Film Ni  
61 Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda Society & Culture 87639462

87199505

87507635

Filed 2017

Patrice Jean
62 Entrepreneur Stories   Inspiration: Millionaire Interviews Higher Education No  
63 The Gary Vee Audio Experience Management & Marketing 5422311

Filed 2017

Merchandise

David Gold
64 The Tony Robbins Podcast Education 4154395

Filed 2009

John Alspaugh
65 The RFK Tapes History No  
66 The Moth Performing Arts 2674258

Filed 1997

n/a
67 Someone Knows Something News & Politics No  
68 The News & Why It Matters News & Politics No  
69 The Peter Schiff Show Podcast Investing No  
70 NPR Politics Podcast News & Politics 1053082 etc

Filed 1975

Janet Cullum
71 Passive Real Estate Investing Investing No  
72 Slow Burn History No  
73 Invisibilia Science & Medicine 4847419

Filed 2014

Janet Cullum
74 Whine Down with Jana Kramer TV & Film No  
75 Monday Morning Podcast Comedy No  
76 WTF with Marc Maron Podcast Comedy No  
77 Your Art Sucks Arts No  
78 The Tim Ferriss Show Investing No  
79 Fantasy Focus Football Professional No  
80 Freedom Empowered Society & Culture No  
81 Inappropriate Earl Comedy No  
82 Fantasy Footballers – Fantasy Football Podcast Professional 4943334

Filed 2015

 
83 Brown Chicken Brown Cow Podcast Sexuality No  
84 Sleep With Me | The Podcast That Puts You To Sleep Alternative Health 5373936

Filed 2017

Quinn Heraty
85 The Rachel Maddow Show News & Politics No  
86 Guys We F****d Comedy No  
87 The Breakfast Club Comedy 2137981 etc

Filed 1996

Lesia Skrypoczka
88 % Invisible Design No  
89 The Teacher’s Pet News & Politics No  
90 Happier with Gretchen Rubin Self-Help No  
91 Casefile True Crime History No  
92 Atlanta Monster Society & Culture No  
93 Jocko Podcast Management & Marketing 87895857

Filed 2018

Charles Halloran
94 Anna Faris Is Unqualified Comedy 87120326

Filed 2016

Merchandise

Kenneth Feinswog
95 Serial Killers Society & Culture No  
96 Curious with Josh Peck Comedy No  
97 Crimetown News & Politics 87977821

87228301

Filed 2016

Douglas Wolf
98 Why Is This Happening? with Chris Hayes News & Politics 87866775

Filed 2018

David Hazlehurst
99 The Goal Digger Podcast – Marketing, Social Media, Creative Entrepreneurship, Small Business Strategy and Branding Management & Marketing No  
100 The Science of Happiness Social Sciences No  

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