We've already covered some of the “Tragedy for Sale” opportunistic douches who waited almost an entire day before attempting to profit from last week's bombings in Boston. On Monday – as the Huffington Post was the first to report – news broke that a second round of apparent tragedy opportunists attempted to cash in just two days after the attack. On April 17, two separate people/corporations filed trademark applications for the phrase and post-bombing rallying call "Boston Strong."
According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Born Into It, Inc of Woburn, Mass. filed for the trademark on Wednesday the 17th, seeking to use the expression for “clothing and accessories.” The same company has previously filed trademarks for the similarly Boston phrases “Chowdaheadz” and “Wicked Pissah Stuff.” Chowdaheadz.com already has a variety of bombing-related apparel for sale, including eight different shirts referencing Boston Strong and one with the David Ortiz quote “This is our fucking city.” All are for sale for $19.99, with 20% of all sales made today reportedly going to charity.
Huffington Post spoke with Ryan Gormady, the owner of Born Into It and Chowdaheadz. "Our interest isn't to police the mark," he told them. "It's more to indemnify and protect ourselves and our colleagues and partners."
The second application was filed by a Kerim Senkal of Allston, Mass. According to the filing, Senkal wants exclusive rights to the phrase for a variety of items, including t-shirts and mugs.
Josh Gerben, a Washington D.C. trademark attorney also spoke with the Huffington Post.
The words "Boston Strong" belong in the public domain, he told HuffPost, because they've been so widely circulated and cannot be associated with any particular company or individual. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the government wouldn't grant anyone the exclusive rights to the phrase 9/11, Gerben explained.
"Boston Strong' cannot function as a trademark," Gerben said.
To contact the author of this post, write to email@example.com.