Home / Insights / An Encouraging IP Tale: KISS Sells Catalog for $300M

An Encouraging IP Tale: KISS Sells Catalog for $300M

by | Jun 5, 2024 | Intellectual Property, Trademark

We have posted many intellectual property cautionary tales on this blog, but the IP news story of this week is an example of the opposite lesson: the intellectual property reward tale. 

The 1970s rock band KISS recently sold their song catalog for upwards of $300 million, joining the ranks of catalog sales like those of Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Nicks. The lesson? Create strong trademarks for your band today in order to reap the benefits tomorrow (or decades later).

The Strong Trademarks of KISS

To be clear, the $300 million price tag for KISS’s catalog came from more than just one registration for the band name. KISS frontman Gene Simmons has been public about his marketing intentions with the band from the beginning – including a book that details rock band marketing. Thus, the USPTO is plush with KISS registrations, including:

  • The signature KISS face paint
  • The KISS logo
  • The KISS slogan: “You Wanted the Best. You Got the Best”
  • The KISS band member characters: Cat, Demon, Starchild, and Spaceman

This has allowed the band to license their trademarks for usage on all sorts of merchandise, ranging from lunchboxes and action figures to pinball machines. 

And what is at the heart of these strong trademarks? For the most part, KISS has been incredibly consistent in the portrayal of their band. They have built their brand for years, creating such recognition that, decades later, a buyer would pay hundreds of millions knowing that KISS merchandise and media will still sell for years to come.

What Will Pophouse Do with KISS?

Who purchased the KISS catalog? The $300 million move was made by Pophouse Entertainment, a private equity firm. They have already voiced some ideas for projects involving the band’s image and songs:

  • A “KISS-themed experience already in the works” – what exactly that is remains to be seen, but it may be in the style of immersive amusement park shows
  • A KISS biopic
  • KISS avatars that can perform the band’s songs in perpetuity, à la their ABBA hologram show

It is clear that Pophouse intends to take the trademarks of KISS and expand them into profitable ventures, even beyond the lifetime of the band members. This demonstrates how a well-built brand can bring you financial sustenance not only throughout your working years – but also when retirement beckons. It highlights the payoff of brand recognition, which can ultimately bring you profit in the sale of your business at the end of its life (or the end of its chapter with you).


Get in Touch with Us

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


Marks Gray P.A.

Connect with Us