And now, as of December 9th, those recordings (the audio only) are the subject of three federal trademark applications filed by a Georgia entity called U Name It, LLC. The services covered by those applications are a variety of entertainment services by a female artist in Class 41.
The audio covered by these applications includes clips of Shirley singing "I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes," "Look - I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, lamb, rams [sic?], hogs dogs [sic], chicken turnkey [sic?] rabbit - you name it," and "You Name It." Links to the actual audio covered by these applications are below:
- I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes;
- Look - I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, lamb, rams, hot dogs, chicken, turkey, rabbit - you name it;
- You name it
Although applications for sound marks are not that common, sounds can serve as trademarks (for example, HBO obtained a registration for its iconic opening and closing clips). The Trademark Manual Of Examining Procedure provides "[s]ound marks function as source indicators when they 'assume a definitive shape or arrangement' and 'create in the hearer’s mind an association of the sound' with a good or service." Section 1202.15.
If U Name It, LLC successfully obtains registrations for these sound marks it could, theoretically, prevent others from using similar audio in conjunction with entertainment services related to those listed in the applications.