Obama Bin Laden mark refused

The IPKat learns from the New York Times that the USPTO has turned down a trade mark for the term OBAMA BIN LADEN – which combined the name of US Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama and the well-known terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

The decision, rendered somewhat confusingly by an examiner named Bush, states that Bin Laden’s terrorist status renders the registration of his name scandalous. Moreover, neither Bin Laden nor Obama had given their consent to the use.

The IPKat, not by nature a prude, says that this is clearly the right decision. The IPKat doubts that the public would think that either Obama or Bin Laden had authorised products. However, whatever one’s views about Mr Obama’s politics, to associate him with a terrorist in order to ‘make a buck’ is crass and insensitive. He wonders idly though who it would easier to obtain consent from: Obama or Bin Laden?
Obama Bin Laden mark refused Obama Bin Laden mark refused Reviewed by Anonymous on Thursday, February 15, 2007 Rating: 5


  1. An alternative ground of objection may well have been that, in relation to clothing in particular, it just isn't a trade mark ('devoid of distinctive character' in the EU), it's just political comment.

    Of course this is a far more boring ground of objection than being 'scandalous'.

  2. One does idly wonder if a trade mark registration can be defamatory without being "scandalous". For example, before the former leader of the Lib Dems admitted to his much rumoured drinking problem, might his supporters have been able to make any objection to a registration for "Kennedy" whisky, since the mere surname might be ambiguous enough to avoid a "famous personality" rejection?

  3. The last time I checked, 'defamation' was not a specific ground of opposition. Being 'contrary to law' and 'bad faith' are grounds, but I can't see either ground being invoked in prima facie examination to the mark 'Kennedy' for whiskey.That is,before or after Charles Kennedy 'confessed'.

    If the mark was 'Charles Kennedy likes a tipple'you could expect objection, but not because the UK Registry are all Lib Dem supporters,it would be most likely because it ain't a trade mark (section 3(1)(b))!

    Finally, I'd like to 'scotch' (geddit, hee hee!)the myth that no famous names can be registered in the UK. They can. If Charles Kennedy wanted to register his full name for a new brand of whiskey I can't personally see any problem.

    Good God - I've suddenly realised I'm writing this at 9.00 pm on a Friday night. Does that make me the saddest person in IP ?

  4. Wow...republicans are desperate..

  5. Desparate, YES... but at least we're honest.

  6. "At least we're honest."

    Now you're desperate AND funny. I'm going to have Dick Cheney come over and pepper you pretty good.

  7. "Desparate (sic), YES... but at least we're honest."

    Congratulations. Out of over 300 million Americans, you are officially the biggest idiot.

  8. get used to it OBAMA is the next president :D

  9. Yes, our country may very well be run by the all new Three Stooges: Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. Of course, this will be nothing compared to a the palling around by the new three amigos: Obama, Ahmadinajad, and Chavez.

    God help us....

  10. this picture is wrong and disgusting! Go Obama our next president!

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