WTF, LOL as a trademark??? Yes, you heard it here first: Personal and household care products behemoth Proctor & Gamble has applied for the exclusive right to use LOL on laundry detergents and fabric softeners, and on liquid soap, dishwashing detergent, hard surface cleaners, and air fresheners. I can guess what their next advertising campaign is going to feature.
OMG, isn’t that outrageous! Well, not really; I’ve said it before (and it bears repeating) that anything that distinguishes your goods and services from another company’s goods and services can serve as a trademark. So LOL makes a perfectly good trademark.
And P & G is not the first to apply for such a mark. As of the date of this writing, 43 marks exist for LOL. While many of them have been abandoned, many are currently live. These marks cover goods as diverse as fortune cookies, gold jewelry, promoting public awareness about the fiscal status of the state of Illinois (which might actually be worthy of a hearty LOL), websites, computer software for gambling machines, leather bags, pet food and dog treats, cosmetics, cigarette paper, and wine.
But doesn’t that prevent anyone from uttering the word “LOL” anywhere in the entire universe? No! OMG, STFU already. As I’ve said before (and I’ll say it again) the fact that someone in the known Universe has a trademark registration for LOL. The only thing that a Live trademark registration prevents you from doing is applying that trademark to goods that are “confusingly similar” to that of the live trademark and selling them in commerce.
If you want to run around saying LOL, you can still do it.
If you want to put stickers on everything you own — including your bottle of dish soap — that say “LOL,” you can still do it (just don’t sell them)
If you and your friends want to run through the streets, bottles of dish soap in hand, yelling “LOL” at the top of your lungs, you can do it. (The police might not LOL, though…)
So if you still want to utter LOL, OMG, or any other 3-letter acronym, you can still do that! In the meantime, OMG, please call me if you have a valuable trademark that you want to protect.
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Contact Dallas, Texas trademark attorney Angela Langlotz today to get started on a trademark application for your valuable brand.