No Trademark for Pussy


Certain things can be trademarked while other things cannot. Some of the “not” things are certain words or designs that are deemed to be immoral or scandalous under Section (2) of the Lanham Act. For example, remember when Damon Wayans tried to trademark “Nigga” for clothing? That got shut down by the examiner at the USPTO under Section (2).

In a recent 27-page decision, the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (“TTAB” or “Board”) refused registration of the mark PUSSY NATURAL ENERGY in connection with energy drinks on the basis of it being scandalous.

Applicant’s attorney of course argued the predictable, that the mark has multiple meanings (meow!), and that nothing in the packaging is inherently or even suggestive of a vulgar connotation. Nonetheless the Board still stated that “the continually evolving meaning of the term ‘pussy’ has come to mean something more, (sic) than merely a cat…[s]pecifically, the term ‘pussy’ refers to the female genitalia…” Further, the Board concluded that based on the evidence the “attention-grabbing meaning is the only reasonable meaning to conclude the relevant public would perceived in this context.” Dare we ask what flavor the drink was?

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