20
Dec/12

Ollie on Trademarks: What Else Would You Call A Rooster-Shaped Lollipop?


I’m Ollie, animal trademark correspondent.

Applicant filed for COCK SUCKER for rooster-shaped lollipops. Clearly generic. But applicant instead received a scandalous objection, affirmed by TTAB and yesterday, by the CAFC.

I’m told that there is a human sex act for which COCK SUCKER was once a secondary connotation. I say ‘once’ because it’s my understanding that the term is rarely used literally, and its primary connotation today is merely a strong insult. As an aside, you may want to go to YouTube and search ‘Swearengen and Wu.’

The CAFC makes a point of noting that it is merely barring registration, not banning use. It simply is preventing applicant from calling upon the resources of the federal government to enforce its mark. Well, that might not be the case if some government entity were to attempt to restrict applicant’s use, and the First Amendment came into play.

From my perspective as a dog, I think that you humans give too much power to certain words by proscribing them. Banality, rather than bans, might be the more effective cure for that which is ‘scandalous.’

TTABlog analysis here.

in re fox