I have made my opinion clear: trying to protect BOSTON STRONG for clothing is futile and deplorable. It is a community based phrase. It is being used by most for charitable causes. Registration of the phrase is unlikely at the USPTO. And enforcement of any perceived or alleged trademark rights is virtually impossible.
Yes there are now five pending applications to register the phrase at the USPTO. I call on the applicant’s to avoid further embarrassment and to expressly abandon their applications now. And I call on the USPTO to immediately refuse each of the applications a failing to function as a trademark based upon the community strength of the phrase. Perhaps I will start a petition to that effect.
Yesterday, I was quoted in an article from Law360 about this issue:
“These companies have very little to gain and a lot to lose in terms of reputation,” said Pelton, who said he found the applications “particularly offensive.”
Here are the five applications. You can see the public records – including the individuals and companies who made the filings – by clicking the trademarks to open the USPTO records:
- BOSTON STRONG – Serial No. 85906495
- BOSTON STRONG – Serial No. 85906569
- BOSTON STRONG – Serial No. 85909994
- BOSTON STRONG – Serial No. 85910031
- BOSTON STRONG – Serial No. 85910126
The most similar situation in recent memory – at least in terms of trademark lawn, not in terms of tragedy – is the efforts by many to protect some variation of OCCUPY WALL STREET in 2011. The USPTO rejected many of those application as failing to function as a trademark because the wording would be seen as purely information matter. See here for example. It is very likely that the BOSTON STRONG applicants will have the same results.
- T-shirt firm Chowdaheadz defends ‘Boston Strong’ trademark filing (Boston Business Journal)