The only unmentionable trademark?

We alluded to this story in an earlier post. Evidently Daman Wayans’s attempt to file a trademark application for the word “Nigga” continues to hit a brick wall.

Forget “immoral or scandalous,” which, as we have said before, is an increasingly hopeless position for national government to take on almost anything in this enlightened era. Interestingly, though, this one will probably stick. Political correctness — in this case, quite correct! (most of the time) — is the empty husk of what was once considered the public virtue of “decency.”

No, the real problem is this: Can the Patent and Trademark Office register as a trademark a word that is, culturally (and almost legally) restricted for use to members of one race only — and that is considered practically a “hate crime” for members of other races to utilize? (As opposed to trademarks that no one can pronounce!) Now that seems as if it would be a bad policy decision for any government agency, much less one (i.e., the PTO) that takes eight months just to queue up a trademark application — no offense intended.

UPDATE:  More of the same bull.


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Author:Ron Coleman

I write this blog.


  1. LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® » Blog Archive » “Disparaging” trademark application booted - September 15, 2007

    […] I’ve been complaining about the incoherent application of the “immoral and scandalous” standard at the PTO for a while, of course.  But now, for some big bloggers, it’s a lot more personal. […]