Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Law Firm Files Applications to Register #METOO and #METOO CLAIMS as Trademarks for Legal Services

As I've blogged about before, it is not uncommon to see a rush of trademark applications for various words or phrases circulating in the media. For example, back in June I blogged about a swarm of trademark applications for COVFEFE.

Most recently, it seems a law firm is seeking to capitalize on the #METOO social media campaign highlighting those who have come forward with stories of sexual harassment and assault. The #METOO campaign is associated with "The Silence Breakers," who Time Magazine just recognized as the 2017 Person of the Year.
On December 1st, the Virginia law firm filed two federal trademark applications - one for #METOO and the other for #METOO CLAIMS, both in Class 45 for "legal consultation services." The firm filed the applications on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting it is not currently using these phrases as trademarks in conjunction with the listed services yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future, so not much else can be gleaned from the applications. However, before these marks can register, the law firm must start using them as trademarks and submit sufficient proof of the same to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. TMEP 902.

According to my quick search, two other trademark applications for #METOO have been filed since late October - one covering fragrances and cosmetics and the other covering rubber or silicone wristbands. I would not be surprised to see more filed in the future.