Friday, March 13, 2020

California Individual Files Applications to Register WE CURED COVID-19 and Two Other COVID-19 Slogans as Trademarks

With the COVID-19 pandemic starting to overwhelm our daily lives, it's not surprising to see individuals and companies filing federal trademark applications for the term.
Most recently, on March 9, an individual in California filed applications to register the three slogans below as federal trademarks:
All three applications cover the same goods and services, namely:
  • Clothing (Class 25);
  • Providing information in the field of medicine; promotional services, namely, promoting the charities of others (Class 35); and
  • Charitable fundraising (Class 36)
However, simply because this individual filed applications doesn't mean he'll obtain registrations. The individual filed these applications on an intent-to-use basis, meaning he'll need to start using these slogans as trademarks with the listed goods and services and submit sufficient proof of same to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office before he can be issued registrations. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). No trademark use = no registration.

The applications could also face barriers in the examination phase. For example, the USPTO will likely ask the applicant to specify the type of clothing in Class 25. Further, depending on the applicant's use of these slogans, the USPTO may find them to merely convey a message rather than function as an identifier of the source of the goods/services. See TMEP 1202.03(f)(i).

In any event, one can expect to see a slew of CORONAVIRUS and COVID-19 trademark applications filed in the near future. And, as always happens when a popular phrase comes about, you can expect the vast majority of those applications die before registration.

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