Frustrated Trademark Attorney Examines Frustrated Marks

Posted by | September 21, 2011 | General | 2 Comments

Sometimes being a trademark lawyer can be frustrating.  Sometimes just being a human can be frustrating!  Several USPTO trademark registration applicants apparently thought frustration was such a common feeling they sought to protect brands with the root term “frustrate.”  There are a total of 51 frustration applications or registrations.  Here are the best of the 22 LIVE PTO records:

FRUSTRATION BRICK for “novelty items, namely, foam rubber objects having the configuration of bricks.”

G.O.L.F GREATEST OF LIFE’S FRUSTRATIONS for “printed materials, namely, golf humor books, pictures, photographs, color art and photographic prints, plating cards, greeting cards, stationary, calendars and cartoon prints.”  I don’t play golf (I am nowhere near that patient), but I live in small town that has two golf courses – you could say golf is a pretty big deal around here, but that would be a vast understatement.

FRUSTRATED MARRIED GUY for “entertainment in the nature of live performances by a comedian.”

TECHNOLOGY FRUSTRATION REMEDIATION for “Computer services, namely, on-site and remote computer setup, namely, installation of computer software, computer configuration, namely, configuration of productivity applications, security applications, utilities, and communication applications, and computer problem solving, namely, troubleshooting in the nature of diagnosing computer hardware and software problems.”  Boy, can I relate, though I like my IT guy’s mark even better: Techtastic!

THE FRUSTRATED CFO for “polo shirts, sweat shirts and t-shirts.”  Ironically, this company is located in NYC near Wall Street, the source of many CFO’s and most other American’s frustration.

And then there’s my favorite DEAD frustration application, this one:

[framed_box]

THE IMPACT PLAYER.  BECOME AN IMPACT PLAYER. BECOME AN IMPACT PLAYER TODAY!  THE HAPPY ART OF BUSINESS & LIFE ACHIEVEMENT.  AMERICA’S FUNNIEST BUSINESSMAN FOOTPRINTS OR BUTTPRINTS?  FIND YOUR GREENEST PASTURE.  STREAMLINE SUCCESS.  MAKE A COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE.  BUILD EQUITY IN YOURSELF.  EARN THE RIGHT.  EARN THE RIGHT TO SUCCEED.  EARN THE RIGHT TO FAIL.  THRIVERS, SURVIVORS & CHEVROLET DRIVERS.  WE ALL TAKE TURNS IN THE BARREL.  THE WORRY CIRCLE.  MANAGING THE WORRY CIRCLE.  YOUR DAILY DOZEN.  CREATE YOUR DAILY DOZEN.  CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK, CHANGE YOUR BEHAVIOR, CHANGE YOUR LIFE.  CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK, CHANGE YOUR LIFE.  FIND YOUR GREENEST PASTURE.  FIX YOUR LIFE.  FIX YOUR LIFE IN LESS THAN AN HOUR.  WIN THE ONES YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO WIN AND SOME OF THE ONES YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO LOSE.  ARTFUL SIMPLICITY.  BRILLIANT SIMPLICITY.  THE ARTFUL SIMPLICITY OF THE COMPLEX.  ACCESSIBLE LIFE LESSONS.  LAUGH YOUR WAY TO A RICHER, HAPPIER AND MORE SUCCESSFUL WAY OF LIFE.  MY FRIENDS & CO-CONSPIRATORS.  SHINE YOUR MIRROR.  BE BETTER, NOT PERFECT.  NEVER LOOK IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR.  LIFE’S WHAT YOU DO BETWEEN SHAVES.  LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS BETWEEN SHAVES.  SHARE THE LAUGHTER.  YOUR WORK IS YOUR AUTOGRAPH — SIGN WITH A FLOURISH!  WORK IS 24% OF YOUR LIFE — TREAT IT THAT WAY.  ONE NEW THING I CAN DO INSTANTLY TO CHANGE MY LIFE AND WORK.  TEDSEZ.  EARN THE RIGHT.  EARN THE RIGHT TO SUCCEED.  AND EARN THE RIGHT TO FAIL.  SEE THE END AND WORK BACKWARD.  NO STINKIN’ THINKIN’!  DO MORE & WANT LESS.  ROLE MODELS — FOLLOW ONE, BECOME ONE.  IT’S OK TO BE A WILD DUCK.  BUSINESS & TALENT DEVELOPMENT.  THE EFFECTIVE USE OF HUMOR IN BUSINESS.  HUMOR & LAUGHTER WORKS IN BUSINESS.  WHAT YOU SAY AND HOW YOU SAY IT — WORD ENGINEERING.  THE POWER OF PERSONALITY TYPES.  HAPPINESS, CONTENTMENT AND INNER PEACE ARE FAR STRONGER AND MORE POWERFUL THAN FRUSTRATION AND ANGER.  WHAT IS YOUR LIFE A UNIQUE LABORATORY FOR?  WHAT HAS YOUR LIFE BEEN A UNIQUELY POWERFUL LABORATORY FOR?  KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, LOOK FOR WHAT YOU WANT, AND FIND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR — IT’S OUT THERE.  DON’T GET PICKED OFF SECOND.  NEVER LET A COMPETITOR SURPRISE YOU. [/framed_box]

The goods/services offered under this mark were described as, “talking points and subjects for sales training programs, self-help instructional programs, personal development training and coaching programs, speeches and instructional presentations used by the applicant.”  The applicant probably felt pretty frustrated after wasting the $325 filing fee.  Maybe he wishes he retained counsel rather than engaging in self-help trademark filing.

We are united by the common experiences we share, including feeling frustration.  Positive emotive brands often are successful.  While I doubt negative emotive brands have the same effect, I bet there’s a sizable market for Frustration Bricks.

About Lara

Lara Pearson is a trademark attorney with Exemplar, where she also serves as the firm's Sustainability Steward. Lara's legal practice focuses on trademark and copyright law, including: intellectual property audits; trademark search & clearance; trademark and copyright registration & maintenance; intellectual property transfers; transactional work; and dispute resolution, including litigation when necessary. Lara primarily represents other social enterprises -- those leveraging their businesses and brands as catalysts for positive social and environmental change. Such businesses engage in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) to have a positive "triple bottom line" of people, planet and profit. As Exemplar's Sustainability Steward, Lara works with others in her law firm to measure and reduce the firm's carbon emissions and encourage engagement in social responsibility initiatives, including pro bono legal work and volunteering. Lara is a proud member of the Social Venture Network. Brand Geek is a member of 1% for the Planet and a Certified B Corporation, whose Incline Village office is certified under the regional Keep the Sierra Green program. Exemplar Companies is the most innovative professional services firm in the New Economy. Our unique, diversified expertise spans the disciplines of corporate law, business advisory, and capital/investment banking to better meet the needs of our high-potential customers. We have assembled a comprehensive suite of service to meet the complex issues facing companies in today’s challenging business environment. Our unique, holistic approach ensures the growth and success – and greatly increases the competitive advantage - of our customers. The Exemplar team is comprised of knowledgeable, highly skilled experts in a wide range of industries and disciplines. They work closely with our customers to provide trusted advice, incomparable support, expert guidance and the ultimate competitive advantage as they accelerate their businesses and position themselves to transform industries.

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