Saturday, September 17, 2022

Unprotected Sex Words

This is a copyright-related blogpost. That is my disclaimer. Naughty words, the trademarking --or not-- thereof is my topic of the day.

There is a word that is commonly (at least in some quarters) thought to have originated as a polite acronym for "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge".  

Ishaan Tharoor offers a variety of scholarly references for the etymology of the over-used word....which someone tried to trademark.

Are sunglasses, for example, commonly associated with sexual congress? They are not really shaped for the purpose, and are probably less so if four letters of the alphabet adorn the structure.

Aviators might make a person look Top Gunnish, partly owing to a learned association and the expeditionary connotations of the name, but giving sunglasses --and other fashion accessories-- a brand name similar to a short term for copulation would not necessarily distinguish that catalogue of sunglasses from another purveyor's similarly decorated sunglasses, and might not make the wearer seem cool and glamorous if he/she/they had their Fornications on.

Thus, I agree with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision to not allow someone to trademark the word.

Legal blogger Sara Bro of the lawfirm McDermott Will & Emery explains the entire sorry saga and all the dignified legal arguments for and against granting a trademark for such a word.

For those gentle readers who are easily upset,the IP Update site uses the once-taboo word liberally and in all there is really no shock value at all.

Another "word" trademark was denied in the UK as legal bloggers Tristan Morse  and Robert Humphreys discuss for the law firm Humphreys Law.

Is stimulant drinking a cardinal sin these days? No. That is more of a play on words, because the redness of farm animals is involved, if not the very crux of the problem when two beer brands both want to trademark "Red" to suggest a vivid sex flush brought on by the potency and strength of their beverage (or energy drink.)

The sex flush wording is my own. I did not get it from any lawyers.

The legal weighing of the pros and cons is well worth reading, especially for any writer considering an investment in a trademark application.

All the best,

Rowena Cherry 
EPIC Award winner, Friend of ePublishing for Crazy Tuesday   


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