LOL, P&G Want to Trademark Internet Acronyms. WTF?

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on August 30, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Beware, millennials -- the brands are seizing your means of communication. Or trying to at least. Procter & Gamble Company has apparently filed for trademarks on all our favorite sentences: LOL, WTF, and NBD.



The largest consumer goods company in the world, according to the trademark application, wants to use popular internet acronyms to sell personal and household-use goods, gambling that millennial consumers are so vapid that once they see an Insta catch phrase on a pack of toilet paper, they'll pony up. If P&G has its way, LOL, NBD, and WTF will appear on the company's (and only the company's) liquid soap, dishwashing detergents, surface cleaners, and air fresheners.

But don't worry, y'all -- we still got the shruggie emoji. (Are we still using that? No? OK then.)


The trademarks, however, haven't been secured just yet. Proctor & Gamble submitting the filings in April of this year, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is still considering the application and has requested clarification from the company. But the story got us thinking about some of our favorite trademark disputes:

IHOP Lawsuit: Pancakes v. Church Over Trademark Infringement

Yeah, International House of Prayer was probably a little too close to the pancake purveyor for trademark comfort.

'Comfyballs' Underwear Denied Trademark by U.S. Patent Office

Did you know that some phrases can be "too vulgar" for trademark protection? Did you know that "Comfyballs" is vulgar? But 2014 was a simpler time, when a non-expletive reference to male genitalia, according to the USPTO, "does not create a double entendre or other idiomatic expression... [w]hen used in this way, the word 'balls' has an offensive meaning."

Chippendales Cuffs and Collar Denied Trademark Protection

No word on whether the company took advantage of Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze's performance in their application. With this result, we're guessing the answer is no.

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