Earlier this week, I blogged about how the ALS Association has recently filed to register the ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE and ALS ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE trademarks with the USPTO. In my opinion, this decision by ALSA was a poor one: the mark may not be protectable and even if it were, asserting any exclusive claim to the phrase is in poor taste. In an interview yesterday, I call it “shameful.”

Within 24 hours, the ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE trademark story went viral. Not nearly to the extent that the challenge itself has, of course. Nearly $100 million dollars have been raised by ALSA in the last month!

I was interviewed by a reporter from the Washington Post yesterday for an article. And many websites have picked up the story from my blog. Articles on TechDirt and arstechnica have dozens of comments. My original post has been “liked” on Facebook more than 160 times. The Washington Post article’s Facebook link has over 100 shares and over 100 comments.

ALSA has issued a comment on the trademark filings. See the Washington Post article for details.

Washington Post: The ALS Association wants to trademark ‘ice bucket challenge.’ An attorney says that’s ‘shameful.’

TechDirt: ALS Association Tries To Trademark Ice Bucket Challenge, Despite Having Nothing To Do With It Originally

boingboing: Not Cool: ALS Association files trademark for Ice Bucket Challenge, but didn’t create campaign

arstechica: ALS group moves to trademark “ice bucket challenge” viral sensation

Fortune: ALS Association looks to trademark the term ‘ice bucket challenge”

I have no idea where this will lead. It has at least reached the attention of ALSA, since they have commented on it. Let’s hope they come to their senses and drop the application before they damage all the goodwill the summer’s viral craze gave them.


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