“Scandalous” Trademark Gets A$$JACKED by TTAB

From the why-do-people-keep-trying-to-do-this department, the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) issued a ruling yesterday affirming an Examining Attorney’s refusal to register the mark ASSJACKED for “hats; headwear; jackets; pants; shirts; shorts; sweaters; sweatshirts; swimwear; t-shirts; and undergarments.”  The refusal was based on § 2(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 2(a), “on the ground that the applied-for mark consists of immoral or scandalous matter” (see an earlier post on this subject here).  The TTAB has held that a mark can be considered scandalous and refused registration by establishing that the mark is “vulgar.”  In this case, the Examining Attorney relied in part on a definition from Urban Dictionary, and was also assisted by the applicant’s own statements on its website, essentially admitting that ASSJACKED is “a very literal term which needs little explanation.”  In other words, the term means what everyone thinks it means, and thus may properly be considered vulgar.  In affirming the refusal to register, the TTAB stated that “the term ASSJACKED is vulgar and therefore scandalous from the standpoint of a substantial composite of the general public and, as such, registration is prohibited under Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act.”  The term ASSJACKED may now take its place alongside fellow traveler COMFYBALLS, which was refused registration last year on the same basis.  Read the TTAB opinion here.  Just don’t read it aloud.

Reposted from the TTAB.