law

Men Attempt to Trademark the N-Word and Swastika to Limit Their Profitability and Use

By Gary Cutlack on at

Two US men have come up with an idea that could stop hate groups profiting from their offensive merchandise — trademarking the N-word and the form of the Swastika. Your dad's going to have to have those tattoos removed.

The problem for Steve Maynard and Curtis Bordenave is the way the US trademarking system works. A recent court ruling opened up the option of trademarking disparaging words, but there's a catch. In order to receive protection and be able to limit others from using it in money-making products, the trademark holders themselves must be shown to be actively using the words in question.

So, the only way the men can make their trademark work is by... selling merchandise across the country that features the word and flags in question.

But it could at least starve some hate crime pedallers from income, with Bordenave planning to perhaps include the N-word in small print alongside a more positive message and brand, while Maynard, meanwhile, wants to trademark the swastika and ironically use it on random products to lessen its impact, telling the Washington Post that: "One of the hopes is that people look at the swastika flag in 10 years and think: baby wipes." [Washington Post]


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