Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How To Lose Your Trademark Filing Fee - File "F*ck"

I've blogged about trademark applications containing the word "fuck" on multiple occasions. My most recent post is here. Nevertheless, every few weeks I run across a trademark application containing the term. Most recently, an individual in Indiana filed a design mark application for the graphic shown below.
This guy sounds like he's pretty frustrated in the dating world, but he's going to be even more frustrated when he finds out the Trademark Office will not register this mark and his $225 nonrefundable filing fee is lost.

The USPTO will not register a mark containing any variation of the work "fuck" pursuant to Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act. Section 2(a) prohibits the registration of any mark containing "immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter.The USPTO considers the word "fuck" obscene and therefore egregiously scandalous.
Not only will this application be refused under Section 2(a) for being scandalous, but the applicant appears to be only using his term as decorative, ornamental use and not as a trademark given the specimen submitted above. As previously blogged about here, a slogan plastered across the front of clothing rarely functions as a trademark and causes issues in the registration process.

This application again demonstrates the importance of working with a qualified trademark attorney. Any good attorney would have told him right away that he had no chance of obtaining a registration for his phrase had the applicant contacted an attorney (and probably free of charge too). Since Trademark Office filing fees are almost always nonrefundable, this quick phone call could have saved this applicant $225, which is now lost.

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