from the shit-for-names dept
There’s a line in Ian Fleming’s opus Goldfinger that goes: “Once is an accident. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.” It appears that as far as strange trademark attacks issued from entertainment properties upon canine-related services are concerned, we’ve officially reached the coincidence stage. You will recall that we were just discussing an odd trademark opposition filed from RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan against a dog-walking service calling itself Woof-Tang Clan. On the heels of that, we learn that Activision is mulling an opposition on a trademark application for a dog-poop removal service calling itself Call of DooDee.
Enter Call of DooDee, the clever name for a dog poop cleaning service that’s not too hard to differentiate where they received their inspiration. The subject matter of the business itself in relation to the franchise is something that we’re not even going to touch. Activision may not find the situation humorous, but you can bet we got a chuckle out of it. Someone who is not laughing however, is the Illinois business owner that filed the initial trademark.
While the application was filed with the USPTO in June, Activision recently asked for extended time to consider filing an opposition. While I would very much enjoy reading about intellectual property lawyers entering into long-form and serious legal discussions during which they would be forced to say the word “doodee” repeatedly, it should be immediately obvious to anyone involved that no opposition is warranted here.
While the name of the business is a clear homage to the phrase “call of duty”, it’s far less clear whether that homage has anything to do with the famous video game franchise. The phrase has military origins, to which the game franchise itself is a titular homage. Beyond that, there is no other tie between a dog-curbing service and the video game franchise. They operate in different industries and, frankly, on different planes of existence. One business is digital, while the other is material and fecal. While some haters of the franchise might indeed claim that it is very, very shitty, this is neither the sort of market tie that is material in trademark law, nor do I suspect that it is the sort of evidence for public confusion that Activision’s lawyers would want present in its opposition.
I would hope that any plans for an opposition being filed would make its way into Activision’s wastebin. Perhaps to sit alongside several knotted little blue baggies.