Gay Party Company Goes After Another Gay Party Organizer Over Generic 'Gay Days' Trademark

from the IP-over-solidarity dept

Trademarks on generic terms and phrases make for the silliest, and often the strangest, battles. In particular, I find it detestable when companies that are serving small, niche groups of people who have every reason to band together in solidarity, instead bicker unnecessarily over even the most common kinds of language. This was the case when comic conventions went to battle over the now generic term “comic-con.” It’s been the case when game-makers have gone after other game makers over a phrase as generic as “would you rather.”

And now, for reasons I can’t particularly fathom, a company out of Florida called Gay Days Inc. has forced a gay pride festival in Southern California to change its name from “Gay Days” because apparently the LGBT community doesn’t have bigger fish to fry besides bickering over insanely generic trademarked terms.

Organizers for the festival over Easter weekend changed the name from Cathedral City Gay Days to Cathedral City LGBT Days after a Florida company notified the city about a trademark it owns on the phrase “gay days.”

Gay Days Inc., the company behind gay parties in Orlando, Las Vegas and Orlando, said in a Jan. 12 email from company President Chris Alexander-Manley it would take all necessary steps to protect the trademark “including, but not limited to, the institution of formal legal proceedings.”

On the one hand, I suppose it’s kind of a nice symbolic moment in the progression this country has undergone in how we look at the civil rights of the LGBT community that rather than focusing on solidarity, there are court fights over “gay days.” On the other hand: what the shit? How does the USPTO even grant a mark on such a generic term, one that, by the way, has been in use long before Gay Days Inc. used it or was granted the trademark? Cathedral City, a wonderfully progressive city, appears to be asking the same questions.

The switch happened well before a major marketing push for the April 3-5 event got underway, said Chris Parman, spokesman and events manager for Cathedral City, a city that neighbors gay-friendly Palm Springs in California’s Coachella Valley. The festival is set to include a bar hop, film screenings in downtown Cathedral City, a Saturday night disco party and Easter egg hunt on Sunday morning. It’s taking place at the same time as the Dinah Shore Weekend in Palm Springs.

“To me the name (‘gay days’) is so generic. I don’t see how on Earth anyone could have that be a trademarked phrase,” Parman said. “It’s no different than ‘pride parade,’ or ‘pride’ or ‘gay pride.’ I think if you look, all of them have tried to be trademarked at some point.”

But, hey, this is America, after all. The land of the free to lock up language and use it against the very people who share your own interests unnecessarily. Progress of a kind, I suppose.

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Companies: gay days

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Comments on “Gay Party Company Goes After Another Gay Party Organizer Over Generic 'Gay Days' Trademark”

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art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

i don’t know the posters intent (which is THE HEART of the misguided idiocy behind ‘hate’ laws), but it appeared to be a lame-ish joke… no harm, no foul, play on…

but, the larger point is: it is ‘okay’ to slur a slur-er, and THAT is -you know- allowable slurring ? ? ?

you need to think that through, sparky: you are being just as much a ‘hater’ as your adversary, AND a hypocrite to boot…

(‘oh, but my hate is a good, clean, righteous hate…’ sure it is…)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I would think more people will come down on gays and lesbians since they are bigots.

To claim that you can only fall in love with your own kind (whether skin color, gender, etc…) is the definition of being a bigot.

Gays are no longer the fringe group they once were. Welcome to being seen as what you are. Bigots who claim they only love their own kind. Black, White, Male, Female, Red hair, or Blonde, we are born this way with no say in it and to act as if it is ok to only like “your own kind” is the definition of being a bigot.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

“The company has been planning “gay days” events for 25 years and has held the trademark for around seven years, he said. Gay Days Anaheim predates the trademark so is allowed to use the name without a license, he said.”

Filing Date May 18, 2011
Current Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition January 10, 2012
Registration Number 4117601
Registration Date March 27, 2012

2012 + 7 = 2019
Did I fall into a coma?

FIRST USE: 19970403. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19970403

I wish I could be shocked by this, but IP matters are no longer shocking.

Anonymous Coward says:

Isnt only liking your own kind being a bigot?

I still dont understand how claiming to only like your “own kind” isnt bigotry.

Personally, I have much more respect for bi-sexuals than gays.

Oh well. Now that it is OK to claim you can only fall in love with people who are your own gender, the next thing will be to say it is ok to claim you can only fall in love with people who are your own skin color.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Isnt only liking your own kind being a bigot?

“I still dont understand how claiming to only like your “own kind” isnt bigotry.”

Bigotry is when you think that a “type” of person is somehow lesser or when you believe that that a “type” of person is somehow less deserving.

Having a personal preference for a particular “type” of person to have a relationship with is no more bigotry than preferring a certain type of food.

TheMan (profile) says:

Wow that’s confusing… I mean, it’s simply not ok to let anyone own such trademark. Can you really trademark such a generic phrase? Imagine someone owned th phrase Gay Porn ??? I can already see the court fights between all the best gay porn sites like ManHub, and PornHub. Then we would need new vocabulary or even new language just because of the trademarks rights.

jimmy (profile) says:

Trademarking phrases is nothing new: The most famous case is sports announcer Michael Buffer, who currently makes more money from his phrase “Let’s get ready to rumble” than he does from actually announcing boxers and letting them know that there might be rumbling. He’s reportedly made $400 million by licensing his phrase to movies, commercials, video games and such. Gay Porn or Empire would be an interesting trademark case between Gay DVD Empire and But here’s where it gets dumb: Dave Hester from A&E’s reality show Storage Wars not only has a trademark on the word “YUUUP!” but is actually involved in a bitter legal battle over it with rapper Trey Songz, who claims that he’s been yupping people since at least 2009. Source:

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