UnIntellectual Property (UnIP): Trademark (Scandalous) for Clothing

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has refused to register the character mark AWSHIT WORKSin connection with baseball caps and other apparel items.  The TTAB deemed the word “shit” to be scandalous, relying upon its precedent and evidence of its use.  My colleague John Welch provides a great summary and his always insightful commentary at his The TTABlog®.

Whenever a mark includes swear words, there is a risk of refusal under Section 2(a).  So, if are thinking about using a mark that contains words that would typically warrant someone telling you that you have a potty mouth, you may want to reconsider.

In re Star Belly Stitcher, Inc., Serial No. 85247730 (August 12, 2013) [precedential].


 

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