Not everything is trademark-able, including “Bad Words,” which may be considered “scandalous and immoral matter”.  But which words are the bad ones ?
For fun, I started playing around with TESS (the USA search engine) and discovered some interesting facts on which “bad words” were accepted as trademarks in USA, and which ones were rejected….when.

In most countries one can’t register “bad words” due to them being offensive.  The definition, however, of which words are “bad” varies by country.  Here is a snapshot from the USPTO on how that definition has changed over the years. 

From an office action dated June 2016, the USPTO considers the following:

For a mark to be “scandalous,” the evidence must show that the mark would be considered shocking to the sense of decency or propriety, giving offense to the conscience or moral feelings, or calling out for condemnation.

Sorry to offend, but let’s review the history of these “bad words” (in alphabetical order):

ASS
  • 1st registered trademark granted in May 1972.
  • 1370 total trademarks applied for using the term.
  • 471 are still alive today, over 345 of which have achieved registration.

ASSHOLE

  • 1st trademark application filed in August 1985, abandoned in 1987.
  • 24 total trademark applications using the term, 23 of which have been rejected (the most recent August 2016).
  • Last trademark application filed June 2016, awaiting first review.

BITCH
  • 1st registered trademark granted in July 1973.
  • 972 total trademark applications using the term.
  • 350+ are still alive today, over 220 of which have achieved registration.

BASTARD
  • The 1st filing was made in 1987 and immediately rejected.  The 1st trademark registration was granted in July 1995.
  • 253 total trademark applications using the term.
  • 117 are still alive today, 83 of which have achieved registration.


BOOB
  • 1st registered trademark granted in 1978 covering tube tops in 025
  • 179 total trademark applications using the term.
  •  69 are still alive today, over 55 of which have achieved registration.


CUNT
  • 2 ladies tried to register this word in 2007.  Both were immediately rejected.


DAMN
  • 1st registered trademark granted in 1978
  • 378 total trademark applications using the term.
  • 158 are still alive today, over 105 of which have achieved registration.


FART

  • 1st registered trademark granted in 1982 for PHARTZ, but not until 1990 for the actual term.
  • 148 total trademark applications using the term.
  • 39 are still alive today, 29 of which have achieved registration.

F#*K
  • 171 total records, the first application was filed in 1996 and the latest in July 2016.
  • 29 records still alive, mainly pending, all rejected for scandalous.
  • 2 are registered -- “WTF” versions, which is knows to stand for “what the f&#k”.

G-D
  • 7698 applications filed that take the Lord’s name in vain (very offensive to many). 
  • 3804 of these achieved registration and 3450 of them are still currently alive.
  • Only 1 application includes the term “damn” and it was repeatedly rejected in 2012.

HELL
  • The first trademark using the term registered in 1997 after 3 years.
  • 10 total trademark applications using the term.
  • 5 are still alive today, 4 of which have achieved registration.


INFIERNO (Spanish for Hell)
  • 6 total trademark applications using the term.
  • 3 are still alive today, 2 of which have achieved registration.


MIERDA (Spanish for Shit)
  • Only 1 pending trademark filed in 2016, awaiting first review.


PENIS
  • The first trademark almost using the term registered in 1979 after 1 year (using “peni” for lab tests). It would not be until 2004 until an actual registration including the term “penis” is registered in class 03.
  • 58 total trademark applications using the term.
  • 14 are still alive today, 8 of which have achieved registration.


SHIT
  • 183 total trademark applications using the term.
  • 43 are still alive today, only 5 of which have achieved registration...none using the actual term “shit”.
  • All 39 pending applications were filed in 2016.
  • 1st  and only trademark registration is actually on the term is actually DEMSHITZ, filed 2009.

SLUT
  • The first registration was granted in 1990 after only 1 year.
  • 145 total applications filed.
  • 43 are still alive today, 32 of which have achieved registration.

 
TITS
  • The earliest registration was granted in 1987 for cake (excluding foreign words)
  • 87 total trademark applications using the term.
  • 19 are still alive today, 14 of which have achieved registration.


TURD
  • The earliest registration was granted in 2006 for plumbing services.
  • 34 total trademark applications using the term.
  • 11 are still alive today, 6 of which have achieved registration.

 
VAGINA
  • The earliest registration was granted in 2005 for medical services.
  • 52 total trademark applications using the term.
  • 21 are still alive today, 17 of which have achieved registration.

WHORE
  • The first registration was granted in 1990 after only 1 year.
  • 129 total applications filed.
  • 43 are still alive today, 32 of which have achieved registration.

 


Comments

Ginny
08/31/2016 3:36pm

Who really cares?

Reply
12/09/2016 5:25am

This is an interesting topic. Who would’ve thought that the there are people who would use this scandalous words as trademark for their brands. If I’m going to have my own trademark, I won’t use these foul words. Despite of it being catchy but the impression is not good. I’ll have a better trademark than those you’ve mentioned.

Reply
Gordon Millar
09/03/2016 2:48am

A few years ago, I read about a Rolls Royce fiasco. In keeping with their model branding theme such as Sliver Ghost etc, they held a global launch with their distributors and announced the new "Silver Mist". Much applause as they unveiled it. When it had quietened down, the German distributor called for attention and said " This is a mistake. You cannot call the best car in the world shit". Mist in German means manure ! It was hastily renamed amidst much schadenfreude.

Reply
10/15/2016 2:34am

Every company are adopting the lot of strategies for increasing the daily sale of products. Every company is need to the trade mark for establishment in the market. Companies are changing the policy according to current situation of market.

Reply

HI,
This article is incredible. The change of language is a part of society. With the passage of time. People invented new and new words.

Reply

Hello admin,
I notice that you have created the post of all words mostly used 18+. Can you please mentioned here that when was the world "The Internet" invented? and what it means.

Reply
12/24/2016 7:21am

Hello admin,
This is Chawla. I just read your article and i found that most of the words are invented in nineteens. Most people avoid to use them.

Reply
01/10/2017 12:01am

This is a pretty good research but useless)) Find some another subject.

Reply
03/29/2017 8:04pm

You wrote a very nice article...

Reply
05/06/2017 10:27am

Hello Admin
Mahrukh here,your article is what everyone should see because in this modern world we are always using slag languages. Well read my article also of daily albayan Pakistan you'll be getting more words to share on your blog too.

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