April 15, 2009

Trademarking "Octomom."



Peter V. Bella said...

I'll bet what ever copy editor or media outlet that originally coined the term are kicking themselves very hard in the ass about now.

blake said...

Can she trademark something that's in the public domain?

Unknown said...

According to People Magazine, "A Houston-based novelty company beat her to the punch by a month."


Then again, not sure if either party can trademark the term.

blake said...

That's probably a terribly untechnical and imprecise way of asking, "Can she take a term that she didn't invent and that everyone has been using freely for months and actually get legal protection for it? And wouldn't she have to be putting it to some specific commercial use?"

Peter V. Bella said...

Maybe she can run for vice president on the Democrat ticket next time; you know the party that cares about the chillrun and families?

She has to smarter than the guy we have now.

Sixty Grit said...

Yeah, 'cause Octopussy was taken.

rhhardin said...

She's showing that she's going to take care of her kids using the idiot celebrity news media audience, the very same audience that's been entertaining itself with disgust at her.

They're made for each other.

Richard Fagin said...

They charged her $500 to file the trademark application (the USPTO filing fee is $325 for one class of goods or services unless you use predefined classes in which case it's only $275)?????

I only charge $190 for the same thing, unless the definition of the goods or services is complicated. The crooks!

Blake: she wants to use it as a trade name in connection with the sale of disposable diapers, which is a perfectly acceptable commercial use. Because the products themselves are not described in any way by the mark she wants to use (octomom), the only possible reason she would not be granted registration is if there were a confusingly similar term used in connection with the same of similar goods or services. The fact that she didn't invent the term itself is perfectly ok. After all, Michael Dell didn't "invent" the name for Dell Computer.

Richard Fagin said...

Ok..here are the links to the trademark office database if anyone's interested.

Suleman's application for G & S: Dresses; Pants; Shirts; Textile diapers:

Suleman's application for Entertainment in the nature of on-going television programs in the field of varity:

Super Happy Fun, Inc.'s application for a whole load of goods and services:

Yes, Super Happy Fun beat Suleman by about a month. The trouble with the Super Happpy Fun application is that they applied for the mark to apply to a shitload of goods and services on an "intent to use" basis. I have my suspicion whether the applicant will actually use the mark in commerce in connection with ALL the goods and services in the application. This is a requirement of trandemark law, and if shown that the allegation of good faith intent to use at the time of the application was false, the registration can be revoked even after grant.

That's all for trademark law class this evening.

Peter V. Bella said...

"Yeah, 'cause Octopussy was taken."

Now that was funny!

blake said...

Yes, that makes sense, Richard. Thanks.

But, really, who's going to buy something with her brand? Reckless and negligent mothers?

Sixty Grit said...

Thanks Mr. Bella. It is coarse and crude, but it demanded inclusion in this blog. It took on a life of its own. I was powerless, POWERLESS I tells ya, I had to type it.

I think I better take a shower now.

Wince said...

She should have gone with the name Trout Pout.

Just looking at this execrable woman makes me nauseous. I wouldn't buy a damn thing with her mug on it.

john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john said...

Blake said ... Reckless and negligent mothers?Seems like a great demographic if you ask me. Tip: get in on this IPO (you heard it here first).

former law student said...

Can she trademark something that's in the public domain?First, trademarks are indications of source. She is the one and only Octomom, so presumably anything labelled Octomom has her endorsement.

Second, this situation is quite like Greg Norman's. Some writer tagged him the "Great White Shark." Although shark is a common English noun, Norman has turned his nickname into a trademark, marketing a clothing line with his shark logo. http://www.shark.com

Bruce Hayden said...

"They charged her $500 to file the trademark application (the USPTO filing fee is $325 for one class of goods or services unless you use predefined classes in which case it's only $275)?????"

We do charge more than that, and apparently get it, because I think we hit the top 10 this last year in TM filings. I don't do them though, since that would presumably be malpractice. The difference between the $275 and $325 is that the later utilizes the TEAS form for electronic filing, and the former the TEAS Plus form. The cost is $375 per class for non-electronic filing.

The TEAS Plus form limits the description of the product or service being identified by the mark to prespecified descriptions (and corresponding classes). You can ask them to add to their list, but that apparently takes time.

TMink said...

I wonder how much the trademark will be worth after the kids are taken by the Department of Children's Services?

How long before that happens?