Getting tapped to post on Trademarkology the week before Christmas is quite an honor. It’s almost as good as being asked by Santa, “What do you want for Christmas?”
Speaking of Santa, I was surprised to see just how popular SANTA is in the world of trademarks. Did you know there are more than 2,000 active registrations and applications at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) where SANTA is all or part of the mark? (Now you do.)
One can find lots of registrations and applications which evoke the more traditional notions of Dear St. Nick such as the following:
(For all you trademark lawyers out there: no, this was not registered as a certification mark.)
As we learned as children, Santa knows when we have been naughty or nice, so this mark seems applicable:
And speaking of “naughty and nice” – not all the SANTA marks are nice. For example, check out these marks which are on the naughty side:
Sometimes, trademark applications can be inspired by current events. Remember all the attention Mall of America received this season when it hired its first black Santa? Twitter and Facebook lit up like a Christmas tree with tweets and posts – and fake news – about the event.
The USPTO now has 13 active applications to register BLACK SANTA. And how would you like to be the lucky owner of the only registration for BLACK SANTA? Buh Buh Island, LLC applied for the mark back in 2013 and just saw its registration issue earlier this month. Talk about great timing.
And, if you have had enough of Christmas carols at the malls and are in Santa overload, perhaps you will be relieved to know there is always: