Fox files to trade mark ‘OK, Boomer’ meme: can phrases be trade marked?
Fox Media has lodged a trade mark application with the USPTO to file the famous phrase ‘OK, Boomer’ for the rumored up and coming reality TV show.
The application which was filed on November 11th under class 41 – ‘ Entertainment services for television series’ suggests that Fox Media has plans to launch a TV show called ‘OK, Boomer’ following the viral spread of the trending meme.
The phrase recently became a famous meme after New Zealand politician Chloe Swarbrick used the words to dismiss a member of parliament for heckling her during her speech.
Fox’s application, which was one of many filed in relation to the phrase ‘OK, Boomer’ has had many speculating as to whether phrases or slogans are registrable as trade marks.
In the UK and similarly to the US, a slogan or phrase can be registered as a trade mark as long as it is unique, distinctive, and does not convey a social or political message. The reasoning for this is because a general and commonly used phrase is likely to be incapable of identifying a source of its goods and/or services.
In accordance with US trade mark laws, due to the term becoming an undoubtedly widely used phrase, it is more than likely that ‘OK, Boomer’ will be deemed as incapable of being registerable as a trade mark by the USPTO.
There have however been numerous phrases and slogans which have previously been registered which include:
- ‘Hakuna Matata’
- ‘This sick beat’
As such, contrary to the common misconception, phrases and slogans are capable of being registrable as trade marks as long as they meet the applicantion requirements.
If you have any questions relating to this article, or would like to register your brand as a trade mark, contact the Trademarkroom today where we would be happy to assist you!