— Jessica Gutierrez Alm, Attorney
The trademark filings for new political slogans and catchphrases continue.
Over the last couple of months, Donald Trump has repeatedly accused various news sources of disseminating “fake news.” As a result, 14 trademark applications have recently been filed for variations of FAKE NEWS.
The goods and services associated with these applications cover a wide range. Film Roman, best known for animating The Simpsons, filed an application for FAKE NEWS in connection with entertainment programs featuring comedy. There are multiple filings for board games and card games, at least one of which is apparently connected with the makers of Cards Against Humanity. Other applications relate to clothing, computer games, online retail, silkscreen printing, photo sharing services, and even wine.
In a similar vein, ALTERNATIVE FACTS has 24 recent trademark filings.
While I don’t dispute that a Cards Against Humanity-style FAKE NEWS game would be great, these types of trademark filings bring up an important issue of timing.
The trademark application process can, and often does, last a year or more. While these FAKE NEWS applicants may ultimately obtain their marks, the social relevance of the slogan may be lost by then. Will these potential marks have the same value in a year? Surely our quotable President will have gifted us with dozens of new phases in a year’s time. Even “Nasty Woman” and “Bad Hombre” aren’t as prevalent as they were a few months ago, and those phrases spurred a combined 27 trademark applications.
What do you think? Are these potential trademarks worth their weight in filing fees? What do some of our marketing-type readers think of these phrase-of-the-moment trademark applications? Would you risk building a brand on these?