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Archived updates for Monday, January 31, 2005

Isyay Igpay Atinlay Eadday?

Even if you can't speak pig latin, John Welch at the TTAB Blog makes you wonder why the U.S. trademark application for UCKFAY in connection with clothing, published for opposition on November 16, 2004, isn't at least as "immoral or scandalous" as the one for A**HOLE. "The same applicant owns 32 other pending applications for what might loosely be called a 'family' of pig-Latin marks," he writes. "Included are more marks in the UCKFAY mold: ITCHBAY, UCKSAY, ODAY EMAY (that's a tricky one), ARDHAY, ICKLAY, ICKDAY, and EXSAY. Some of the marks are rather innocuous (OOLCAY, UPIDSTAY, UMBDAY), some rather amusing (IGPAY, ATINLAY)."

Perhaps the USPTO just needs more "bi-lingual" Examining Attorneys to enforce this portion of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedures:

While foreign words are generally translated into English for trademark comparison purposes under the doctrine of foreign equivalents, works from dead or obscure languages may be so unfamiliar to the American buying public that they should not be translated into English. The test is whether, to those American buyers familiar with the foreign language, the word would denote its English equivalent. Example: Latin is generally considered a dead language. However, if there is evidence that a Latin term is still in use by the relevant purchasing public (e.g., if the term appears in current dictionaries or news articles), then a Latin term is not considered dead.

After all, if you believe that some marks are just too scandalous for registration, then how hard can it be to convince yourself that pig latin is really just a dead language?
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