LOL, P&G Want to Trademark Internet Acronyms. WTF?
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:
Yeah, International House of Prayer was probably a little too close to the pancake purveyor for trademark comfort.
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."
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.
- Procter & Gamble Wants to Trademark Online Acronyms Including WTF and LOL to Advertise Soap (The Independent)
- End Game: Butt Sketch Artist Sues For Trademark Infringement (FindLaw's Legal Grounds)
- Kern Kitchen's Derby Pie Is a Recipe for Lawsuits (FindLaw's Legal Grounds)
- More Stories from the Naked City: TM Suit Filed (FindLaw's Legal Grounds)