The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been refusing plenty of applications for marks containing curse words on the dubious ground that they are too commonplace to serve as trademarks. Ever. As I explained in my last post, these applications include SHUT THE FUCK UP legal services, KEEP FUCKING GOING jewelry, and YOU’RE AWESOME KEEP THAT SHIT UP dinnerware and oven mitts.
After that shocking exposé, we’ve earned a sweary tour through those scandalous marks that have made it onto the federal register. Applying to register these before the Supreme Court eliminated the ban in 2019 would have been a complete waste of time and money. But they have now officially penetrated the federal database. I’m not including the multiple asterisked-for-your-protection marks now on the register, though those too wouldn’t have made it through during the heyday of the scandalousness ban.
Let’s start with the shitstorm. Only 20 registered marks contain actual SHIT. Here are some that have been registered for goods:
- PRETEND TO GIVE A SHIT for candles
- FABULOUS.HAIR.SHIT for hair masques
- SHITTENS for disposable sanitary wipes
- LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO LISTEN TO SHITTY MUSIC for souvenir programs in the field of music, temporary tattoos, drinking vessels and apparel
- DON’T BE A CHICKEN SHIT! HOT SAUCE for hot sauce
- GOOD BEER NO SHIT for t-shirts and beer
- DESERT SHIT for apparel
And here are some registered for services:
- MAKE DOPE SHIT for video production services
- BULLSHIT SLAYER for business consulting services
- FITNESS WITHOUT THE BULLSHIT for online courses, seminars, and workshops in the field of health and fitness
- SYSTEM OF DOING SHIT for advertising, marketing and promotion services
- FIX YO SHIT for online exercise training, production of multimedia entertainment content, and blogs, all “to help free people from pain”
Still more SHIT marks have been published for opposition, meaning the assigned trademark examiner thinks they’ve met basic standards and third parties have the chance to challenge their registration. These include SHITSTORM for balls for games, EAU SHIT for perfumes, and OH SHIT I’M HUMAN for behavioral and holistic health services.
Plenty of SHIT marks are primed for registration, waiting only for the applicant to prove use in commerce. Looking at you, SHITTY KITTY for cat litter, FIGUREYOSHITOUT for DJ services, ALIVE AS SHIT for online electronic games and podcasts in the field of personal growth and development, SHIT WILL HAPPEN for educational services “in the field of mental health, motivation, [and] self-empowerment,” MY SHITTY FAMILY for board games, and MY SHIT IS BEAUTIFUL for life coaching services. Also
“for medical testing for diagnostic or treatment purposes in the field of gastrointestinal diseases or conditions caused by microbiome genes.”
There are even fewer fuck-formative marks on the register, a total of just 7 with the actual four-letter word itself and not a variant of some sort:
- FUCKING FABULOUS for fragrances for personal use
- SAD AS FUCK for ornamental novelty pins and balloons
- NAMASTE AS FUCK for apparel
- RENO AS FUCK for beer
- FUCK YOU JOURNAL for personalized writing journals
- FUCKED UP FRIENDS CLUB for clothing including leather belts, jeans, bomber jackets, smoking jackets, snowboard jackets
- THE FUCK IT DIET for audio recordings featuring eating, body image, and well-being and workshops and seminars in the field of eating, body image, mindfulness and relaxation
Gone through the examination process and just waiting on use are:
- SKULL FUCKERS for sex toys
- BADDEST MOTHERFUCKER for “live stage shows and performances featuring sports and mixed martial arts” and toy championship and mixed martial arts belts, among others
- CULTURE AS FUCK for perfume
- BUTTFUCK for beer
- ALASKAN THUNDERFUCK for action figures, collectable toy figures, stuffed toys, and modeled plastic toy figurines
Puzzlingly, no straight-up “asshole” marks yet appear on the register. The closest is LIL’ RASSHOLES for children’s clothing, followed by SASSHOLE and MASSHOLE for clothing, CRASSHOLES for balloons, and GLASSHOLE for glass blowing. ASSHOLE-FREE for, among other things, online retail services made it through the examination process to publication for opposition. And I’m going to keep an eye on an intriguing recent application for NO ASSHOLES for furniture.
COOKIE COCKS is newly-registered for a variety of cookies, including gluten-free and vegan, which deserves mention if only for its original rejection by the USPTO. The examining attorney had initially refused the application as “merely descriptive of the applicant’s goods/services, namely, a cookie shaped like a penis or cock.” It was allowed to register, but shuttled off to the supplemental register where such descriptive marks may come to rest.
Also added to the supplemental register was I BRAKE FOR COCK! for bumper stickers and DICK AND TITS for wrapping paper (with adult themes).
These next examples aren’t technically sweary, but would likely not have made it through the “scandalous” barrier of yore. The following three-dimensional configuration mark is registered for golf tees:
And this one is registered for medical clinic services, medical consultations and medical information:
A few “pussy” marks are registered , including PUSSY TALK for downloadable podcasts in various fields – women’s studies, gender studies, highlighting influential women, women’s issues; PUSSY AIN’T FREE for clothes; and this next one, also for clothes:
IT’S JUST A HAT CUNT! for hats and TOP CUNT, STUNTY CUNTY, and CUNT: CAN U NOT TEXT for apparel are all ready to register if and when the applicants can prove use.
All in all, a rather puny showing for bad words, and too many weak applications and even registrations for t-shirts and miscellaneous apparel. There’s plenty of room left to scandalize American purchasers in a far more creative way.