You'll Never Guess Which Portmanteau Everyone Is Suddenly Trying To Trademark

from the actually-you-probably-will dept

It had to happen. There was no avoiding it. It's quite common for individuals, and sometimes even businesses, to surf the wave of a popular news cycle and attempt to translate some story into a trademark to exploit. A good percentage of the time, this is done as something of a short-term squatting attempt, where some word or phrase becomes suddenly popular and someone races to trademark it in order to license or sell it to another entity. Other times, it's simply done to capitalize on the sudden popularity of a word or phrase directly.

You already know where this is going. Yes, the "Brexit" trademarks are starting to pour in, almost literally in the case of Sam Adams Boston Lager maker Boston Beer.

The Boston Beer, the maker of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, is seeking to trademark “Brexit” as a name of a hard cider. A patent attorney from Houston has also filed an application to register “Texit,” a term coined as the Texas version of Brexit. That application covers hunting apparel, T-shirts and baseball caps.

Yes, as the world reacts to Britain riding a wave of false-promises and barely-disguised tribalism towards an EU exit stage-right-into-an-economic-freefall, American companies are swiftly trying to lock up the word-mash used to describe this exodus for their own stupid business purposes. And, based on the findings of Alex Montgomery, it appears these applications were filed even as the results of the vote were in doubt.

On June 24th, as the world was contemplating the consequences of the United Kingdom's "Brexit" vote to leave the European Union, others were filing applications to register the term as a trademark. One of those entities was the Boston Beer Company (the owner of the Sam Adams trademark). Applications to register BREXIT as a trademark were also filed on June 24th by an individual in Chicago in Class 025 for clothing and by a company in Colorado inClass 005 for dietary and nutritional supplements.

For Boston Beer's proposed Brexit Hard Cider, the details for the rollout of this drink appears to elude even those within the brewery.

A Boston Beer spokeswoman couldn’t say exactly what the plans were for Brexit cider. She told Law Blog that the company has worked with cider makers from the U.K. and sources some apples from the country for its “Angry Orchard” line of hard cider.

That's quite a reach to rationalize trying to trademark a suddenly popular term coming out of an international news cycle. Let's be clear on this point: this kind of trademarking is goddamned annoying. First, it makes a mockery of what for most of us are very real and serious issues. The Brexit story is one that the entire world ought to be paying very serious attention to, because the vote was not only historic, but its consequences, whatever they are, ought to be instructive to other nations that want to use nationlism to propel this sort of agenda.

But on top of that, exactly what does any of this kind of opportunistic trademarking have to do with the purpose of trademark law? To be clear, all of these trademark applications are likely entirely legal. But that doesn't change how at odds they are with the purpose of trademark to begin with. The idea behind trademarks is that they serve as a source-identifier for particular companies. The general idea would be to come up with a term for a brand or business, trademark it, then grow it into recognition as associated with the trademark holder. These attempts reverse the order, attempting to ride a wave of an already well-known word or term and then trying to force association with brands through trademark.

And that's really lame.

Filed Under: beer, brexit, trademark
Companies: samuel adams


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  • identicon
    David, 30 Jun 2016 @ 3:34am

    This is what trademarks stand for:

    Everybody loses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Jun 2016 @ 3:48am

    So they want to associate their brand with lying and cheating to get your way, while screwing as many people as possible then walking away pretending its not your fault.

    Good brand management.

    We're bottom feeders who don't have a single original idea of our own so we'll just glom onto any passing fad to make sure we can find a way to profit off of it until we see a cooler fad to grab and then dump the old one... but still keep holding onto it because its ours even if we aren't using it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2016 @ 4:53am

      Re:

      So they want to associate their brand with lying and cheating to get your way, while screwing as many people as possible then walking away pretending its not your fault.

      What's wrong about a company associating its brand with the way that companies actually do business?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2016 @ 5:23am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, it's called capitalism .. what are ya, some sorta hippy?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2016 @ 6:38am

          Re: Re: Re:

          WRONG fucker! capitalism is the principle that people can OWN business privately instead of the government owning your business. Trademark has nothing to do with it!

          Public businesses can have trademarks. In fact trademark is not exclusive to any particular economic principle. I has been used by Monarchs, Senates, Black Smiths, Bakeries... fuck it all...

          Fucking tool, Get off the internet and take the rest of the fucking rabble with you! It's about to get a whole long quieter up in here!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2016 @ 12:11pm

      Re:

      I'm surprised someone hasn't created trexit as a slogan for leaving Trump. He already has the lying and cheating part down.

      Sadly Hillary can't use hexit as I'm sure that one is already taken.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 30 Jun 2016 @ 4:35am

    The Brexit story is one that the entire world ought to be paying very serious attention to, because the vote was not only historic, but its consequences, whatever they are, ought to be instructive to other nations that want to use nationlism to propel this sort of agenda.

    "Whatever they are" being the operative word here. We still don't know, in any meaningful way, what the consequences are, because not enough time has passed for any but the most trivial and short-term of consequences to have actually come about.

    Many times, something that looks good at first turns out to be bad in the long run, and vice versa.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 30 Jun 2016 @ 5:34am

      Re:

      ""Whatever they are" being the operative word here. We still don't know, in any meaningful way, what the consequences are, because not enough time has passed for any but the most trivial and short-term of consequences to have actually come about.

      Many times, something that looks good at first turns out to be bad in the long run, and vice versa."

      Exactly correct. I have my suspicions as to whether a retreat from globalism and regionalism will work out well or poorly for the retreaters, but we don't know specifically yet how this will work out for the UK, which is why I phrased it in the way you quoted.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Jul 2016 @ 5:40am

        Re: Re:

        They didn't have a plan for how to carry on if Brexit won, which is the problem. If you're going to retreat from globalism you risk being frozen out of trade.

        The carrot: come and have some lovely trade!
        The stick: if you know what's good for your economy!

        If you're going to retreat from globalism (the UK actually prefers to sell out to the US than the EU) you need to have a plan for trading regionally or you're screwed. Given that the IMF has imposed austerity measures on every country taking loans from it, any such deal would be very one-sided. Yes, we'd get cheap sugar-snap peas from Kenya, but how many Kenyans can afford to buy British-made cars?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2016 @ 5:21am

    Boston Beer is my hometown brewer and certainly a forefather of what beer is today. And sure, some of what they make is enjoyable but Jim, buddy. CUT THE SHIT!

    They tried to trademark Boston Strong (which is just in poor taste, and luckily the judge in that case saw it that way too.) And they tried to sue a guy named Sam Adams from running for mayor.

    Boston Beer complains a lot they don't get the respect they deserve as a pioneer craft brewer, but when you try to trademark every fad word or phrase, and sue everyone into oblivion you come out looking no better than some of the macrobrewers you try to distance yourself from.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 30 Jun 2016 @ 5:22am

    Need help

    Hmm. With Brexit and Text taken. I need help with the other 49 states and let's throw in Puerto Rico also for Trademark. Maybe I should create some for the Sovereign Indian government...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2016 @ 5:25am

    With Trump you get GOPexit

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 30 Jun 2016 @ 5:34am

    Ok, I got the ultimate trademark:

    For ending a repressive backward monarchy: Tyrannosaurus Rexit, the revolutionary beer for democrats.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2016 @ 6:41am

      Re: Ok, I got the ultimate trademark:

      Then someone can create a "Chicxulub Stout" the beer that will make the revolutionary "Tyrannosaurus Rexit" democrats extinct!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cliff, 30 Jun 2016 @ 6:19am

    Other marks

    48.1 is surely the one

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2016 @ 6:48am

    Concerning to see that Techdirt have jumped on the pro-EU, anti-democracy bandwagon...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2016 @ 6:50am

      Re:

      Idiocy level achieved.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      trollificus (profile), 30 Jun 2016 @ 7:39am

      Re:

      Really.

      When did TD switch over to the top-down corporatist side? Is it the result of blindly following some narrative-"These same people are wrong on A, B and C, so I must oppose position D which they support"?? Or the knee-jerk obeisance to the "Our strength is in our diversity" mantra and it's unspoken clause "...in every circumstance, without exception and any questioning this is racist"

      I've always been very suspicious when someone presents a position to me that, it is claimed, is correct beyond criticism, analysis or thought. Doesn't seem to bother you, I guess.

      Likewise, to present this dispute as if only the Brexit side used wild hyperbole and unquestioning hatred of "the other" must mean you approve of the knee jerk, sky-is-falling,"maybe we really don't like democracy" post-vote hysteria coming from the Remain camp.

      Wow. I've always respected TechDirt, but this is just head-shakingly sad...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Call me Al, 30 Jun 2016 @ 8:19am

    I heard a rumour

    I heard a rumour that Ecuador was considering leaving the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System.

    Apparently it will be called the Exit.

    Oh wait... I'll get my coat.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2016 @ 8:36am

    Texit Tangent

    "A patent attorney from Houston has also filed an application to register “Texit,” a term coined as the Texas version of Brexit."

    Oh, please, god, let the Texit" movement succeed! (Now you have to guess whether or not I'm Texan).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    morganwick (profile), 30 Jun 2016 @ 1:18pm

    I thought Techdirt was better than these sorts of clickbait headlines...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jun 2016 @ 1:37pm

    BRexit becomes BJexit

    They may already have wasted their time. BoJo has withdrawn from the leadership race (backstabbing services provided by Michael Gove), so I hope BRexit and BoJo are both destined for the dustbin of history.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Peter Richard Austin, 1 Jul 2016 @ 4:38am

    Quit it with the Trolling

    Re: "Yes, as the world reacts to Britain riding a wave of false-promises and barely-disguised tribalism towards an EU exit stage-right-into-an-economic-freefall"

    It's not "tribalism" to want legal equality between British people of European descent and those from the rest of the world.

    The EU "free movement" principle had severe unintended consequences, including a brutal clamp-down on immigration from other parts of the world, dawn police raids racially-targeting British-Asian-owned businesses, and £20k fines if British-Asians let family help out. This sort of un-British activity had to stop.
    http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2016/03/18/two-restaurant-workers-arrested-in-whitchurch-imm igration-raids/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Jul 2016 @ 5:45am

      Re: Quit it with the Trolling

      That had more to do with institutionally racist police doing what they do (who ever heard of a white person being manhandled, then deported? Me neither).

      The free movement of people has flooded economically deprived areas with more poor people, leaving the people who were already there to compete with them for services, etc. That was ill-considered altruism from idealists who had not planned for how these new neighbours were going to live in an era of austerity. That, you may find, was the main driver of Brexit.

      Had austerity been repealed and proper infrastructure provided to accommodate the newcomers, we would have seen a different result. Complacent people don't complain.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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