"Comfyballs denied US trademark, asks public for help", reports marketing e-magazine The Drum, here. The item, in relevant part, reads as follows:
"Comfyballs, a Norwegian underwear brand, has set up a poll asking the public if it is offended by the word 'ball's, to prove to the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) that its name is not inappropriate. The move is in response to the USPTO’s denial of brand’s trademark request on the grounds that the “American public would find the name Comfyballs to be vulgar.” Founder of the brand, Anders Selvig, said ...:
The decision is presumably based on the Lanham Act's section 1052(a), which stipulates that registration must be refused to any mark that "consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; ..."“In setting up this polling website, we hope we will be able to present to the USPTO evidence that their fear of a sense of vulgarity among the American people is unfounded".
|Balls can be fun ...|
In the event that trade mark registration is unavailable in the United States, Comfyballs invites respondents to suggest an alternative brand name under which its undoubtedly comfy products may be sold in the Land of the Free. A list of names proposed to date is appended, most of those names being (in this Kat's purely subjective opinion) as objectionable to the USPTO, if not more so, than Comfyballs itself.
Over in Europe, things may be a little different. For example:
- it appears that the word COMFYBALLS, as depicted in the top right hand corner of this blog post, has already been registered by Tonic Brands AS for "clothing, footwear, headgear" in Class 25 [says Merpel, this shows either (i) the higher degree of tolerance shown by Europeans to the affectionate use of vulgar terms as brands or (ii) the wisdom of engaging examiners from 28 countries which, between them, share 24 official languages and who may miss the subtleties of vocabulary in a language other their mother tongue ...].
- BOSOM BUDDIES has been registered as a UK trade mark for, inter alia, "fasteners for brassieres and decorated fasteners for brassieres" (Class 26), here, and is the domenant feature of a figurative mark for "aromatherapy breast products" in Class 3, here.
- WILLY WARMER is on the UK register for a selection of items of Class 25 clothing, including socks but not what you might be thinking, here. The registered proprietor has also secured the plural version of the same mark here.
- LOVE YOUR BUM is on the UK register for Class 16 products including toilet paper and "fluffy materials for household and hygienic purposes", here. Former tennis star Boris Becker's BUM BUM Community trade mark, for among other things the provision of restaurant and pub food and drink services, has however lapsed.
|... but hairballs are not|
Katpat to Chris Torrero for providing the link!