LMFAO Patent Rejected For Immoral Or Scandalous Behaviour

The music group LMFAO has recently filed their applications with the USPTO for the second time. The Patent and Trademark Office rejected the first application, filed in 2009, due to the mark containing “immoral or scandalous matter.” Utilizing the Google search engine, the USPTO [correctly] determined that LMFAO is an acronym for “Laughing My Fucking Ass Off.” The USPTO does not currently allow registration of any immoral or scandalous matter on neither the principal nor the supplemental register.


To be considered scandalous, a mark must be shocking to the sense of truth, decency or propriety; disgraceful; offensive; disreputable; . . . giving offense to the conscience or moral feelings; . . . [or] calling out [for] condemnation, in the context of the marketplace as applied to goods and/or services described in the application. In re Mavety Media Group Ltd., 33 F.3d 1367, 1371, 31 USPQ2d 1923, 1925 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (quoting In re Riverbank Canning Co., 95 F.2d 327, 328, 37 USPQ 268, 269 (C.C.P.A. 1938); In re Wilcher Corp., 40 USPQ2d 1929, 1930 (TTAB 1996); see TMEP 1203.01.

Scandalousness is determined from the standpoint of not necessarily a majority, but a substantial composite of the general public, . . . and in the context of contemporary attitudes.” In re Mavety Media Group Ltd., 33 F.3d at 1371, 31 USPQ2d at 1925; see TMEP Â1203.01.

LMFAO, LLC filed this recent application is response to Notice of Allowance (NOA) for an application of a mark of LMFAO in January 2012 by a different and unrelated applicant. The applicant defined the acronym as “Laughing My Freaking Ass Off.” That application was ultimately abandoned.