June 04, 2018
Originally posted 2018-11-19 10:38:39
By Chloe Coska | amdlawgroup.com
The brand under investigation “Comfyballs”, established in Scandinavia in 2013 has been since expanding in Australia, New Zealand and UK. “Comfyballs” uses a design called PackageFront, which is supposed to reduce heat transfer and enable freer movements. The Norwegian brand was planning to release its product onto the US market this year but the USPTO has denied the company’s application to register the trademark in the US judging the name “vulgar”.
According to the USPTO “in the context of the applicant’s goods… Comfyballs means only one thing – that a man’s testicles, or ‘balls,’ will be comfortable in the applicant’s undergarments. “The mark does not create a double entendre or other idiomatic expression… When used in this way, the word, ‘balls’ has an offensive meaning.”
The brand founder Anders Selvig is challenging the ruling and called the USPTO guidelines to be reviewed. According to him, the USPTO has already in the past approved the company’s trademarks with similar names. “The trademarks ‘Nice Balls’ and ‘I love my balls’ have recently both been approved by the USPTO,” he said. “Luckily, Europeans have a softer view on what is deemed to be vulgar and the EU allowed Comfyballs to trademark without hassle earlier this year.”
This case is proven to be peculiar, however, the Norwegian company is not the only one which has been under fire for brand called “vulgar”. In 2011, Ben&Jerry’s was also denied trademark protection by the USPTO for a ice cream flavor called Schweddy Balls based on a Saturday night live sketch.
Image credits: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2868788/No-Comfyballs-America-Patent-office-says-Norwegian-men-s-underwear-trademark-vulgar-sale-U-S.html