After my latest post on the rejection of FUCK as a registered trademark for apparel, I offer all you aficionados of sweary trademarks another roundup of registrations.
Around 100 FUCK-formative trademarks are registered at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). That’s not including a bunch of sanitized-ish FOX, FVCKs, and similar close calls. In addition to TOM FORD FUCKING FABULOUS — the derivation of which was explored fabulously by my fellow Strong Language contributor Nancy Friedman — other registered fucking marks include:
- FUCK IT! for “noodle-based prepared meals”
- GOOD FUCKING for wine and other alcoholic beverages
- GET THE FUCK OUT OF BED for coffee beans
- FUCK PROOF for mascara
The following design mark is registered for podcast productions, which the producers intriguingly describe as “a true crime comedy podcast about cults, murder and other generally fucked up stuff”:
Approximately 100 SHIT-formative marks also appear in the USPTO database. That’s in addition to several marks including the likes of S#!T, SH*T, SHYT, and $#!%. These shitty registered marks include:
- SHIT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU IN SCHOOL for “tutoring in the field of life skills, personal growth, career advice, financial literacy”
- “IN WITH THE GOOD SHIT……OUT WITH THE BULLSHIT” for psychic mediumship services and psychic reading services
- SHIT YEAH! for restaurant services
- DO EPIC SHIT for wine
- SHITHEADS for toilet brushes
There’s also this one for spice blends — the website touts several very special seasonings for sale, including Lying Sack of Shit, Bad Ass Shit, and Shits ‘n Giggles:
Don’t forget the handful of registrations for MR SHITHEAD for, inter alia, streamers, abdominal wheel rollers for fitness purposes, toy wheelbarrows, water skis, zen garden desk toys, covers for horse saddles, and garlic presses. (Who knows, Mr. Shithead may actually be that prolific, but crazy laundry lists of goods in a use-based registration are problematic.)
I’m looking forward to seeing whether this next one gets refused as generic – it’s an intent-to-use application filed in June 2022 for the mark BULLSHIT . . . for, well, bullshit. The goods listed in the application include manure, animal manure, fertilizers and manures, and organic manure. True, it doesn’t specifically point to bulls as the creators of the manure, but more importantly, the USPTO may well see it as a double entendre, which should get it off the hook for genericness.
To round off the sweary roundup, a few more registered marks and how they appear IRL, not just as standard characters on the register:
- MEDITATION FOR ASSHOLES for providing live and on-line classes, workshops, seminars, tutorial sessions, retreats, instruction and training in the fields of meditation, mindfulness, breathing techniques and concentration techniques
- PUSSY WHIPPED for alcoholic beverages
- 50 WAYS TO EAT COCK for providing a website featuring non-downloadable publications in the nature of blogs in the field of cooking and backyard chickens
And the following for “promoting public awareness of the need for women’s empowerment by means of public advocacy”:
Overall, not too many registered marks that will cause widespread pearl-clutching. And it’s great to see a few folks venturing beyond apparel to have fun or make a damn point.
1. What about SCHITT (as in Schitt’s Creek)?
2. Could the makers of Super Shit be sued for fraudulent labeling because their product doesn’t contain any marijuana?
(1) In fact, SCHITT’S CREEK was registered in January 2020 for a bunch of goods, including computer games, paint brushes, greeting cards, beach towels and Halloween costumes, and also various entertainment services. Previous attempts to register SCHITT had been rejected on the ground that they were “scandalous,” but those came before the Supreme Court said that that basis for refusal was unconstitutional. (These refusals included the totally unappetizing JACK SCHITT’S BURGERS for “fast-food restaurants and snackbars” in 2008.)
(2) The USPTO will reject applications where the mark is deceptive or “deceptively misdescriptive” because it falsely describes the content of the product. The main question in your case would be whether purchasers would be likely to assume that SUPER SHIT products contain marijuana. The USPTO did refuse to register TeaHC for beverages that didn’t contain THC and also refused to register COCAINE for soft drinks and energy drinks that didn’t contain cocaine.
A competitor could sue for false advertising in those cases too, but I don’t know that it would be worth the money to do that.