Gun Control hits the USPTO

Posted by | April 24, 2013 | General | No Comments

As the heated (pun fully intended) public debate about gun control continues, I thought it would be fun to examine trademark applications for the term GUN CONTROL. I expected to find a roughly equal mix of applications filed by gun control supporters and opponents, and I thought there would be numerous applications, and even a few registrations, from which to choose. I was wrong on all accounts.

As of today, there are only 12 USPTO records that include the term GUN CONTROL, of which eight are DEAD and four of which are LIVE:

One application (the bottom one for GUN CONTROL) does not list any goods or services. Of the remaining eleven applications, there are is only one, or maybe two, that were filed by proponents of gun control:

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NATIONAL GUN CONTROL ASSOCIATION for an association (collective) of “gun control activists”

BURGLARS AND ARMED ROBBERS FOR GUN CONTROL for “stickers.”

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The rest of the applications containing the term GUN CONTROL all were filed by opponents of gun control:

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AMENDMENT II YES! GUN CONTROL, NO! for “bumper stickers”

WE DON’T NEED GUN CONTROL WE NEED SELF CONTROL for “promoting public awareness of the need for education on firearm use and safety”

GUN CONTROL GOOD JUDGMENT AND A CLEAN SHOT for “gun cases, jewelry, stickers, posters, & clothing”

FOR BETTER GUN CONTROL USE TWO HANDS for “stickers, posters, clothing and promoting public awareness of the need for education on firearm use and safety” (2 identical applications)

GUN CONTROL HOLD AIM FIRE for “clothing”

GUN CONTROL HOLD AIM FIRE for “stickers, posters, paper cups & signs”

GUN CONTROL HOLD IT AIM IT FIRE IT for “clothing”

GUN CONTROL HOLD IT AIM IT FIRE IT for “stickers, posters, paper cups & signs”

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When I expanded my search to capture PTO records that included both the term GUN and the term CONTROL, not necessarily next to each other, I also found this new application:

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CONTROL YOURSELF. NOT OUR GUNS for “wristbands.”

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Even though thus far GUN CONTROL has made its way into fewer trademark records than I’d imagined, some simple observations can be made:

1. Most gun control opposing brands play off of the word control ~ encouraging gun control that enables the gun owner to hit its target.

2. Gun control opponents like stickers.

3. Gun control opponents also oppose the use of proper grammar . . . perhaps its rules in general that they dislike? 

It’s always interesting (to me at least) to see how trademark applications track current events and pop-culture. It seems to me that gun control opponents get more airtime so maybe there’s a correlation between airtime and TM apps.

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