Fox attempts to trade mark the meme ‘Ok Boomer’

What is a meme?

A meme typically consists of an image, video or text which is humorous and shared between multiple people on social media. Memes are essentially the new age of comedy as it is easily accessible and shared between millions of people. As well as this, it is adaptable as a meme is not constant and can have multiple captions underneath changing the context of the joke.

What is ‘Ok Boomer’?

It’s the latest trend within meme culture as a light-hearted retort to the older generation of Baby Boomers who are out of touch within the current trends within the day to day lives of teenagers. For an example if an elderly person or a politician didn’t like something or criticized something that they didn’t understand it a teen/millennial would respond with ‘Ok Boomer’.

Now Fox, the US TV Network, are trying to capitalise on this idea by turning the popular meme into either a comedy TV show or a game show, as they filed a trade mark application for the phrase with the USPTO on the 11th November 2019. But apparently, they are not the only people looking to trademark this phrase as another application has been filed this time for a clothing line.

In the United States, applications could fail under the category of Widely used Messages. These are phrases which are considered as commonplace and will be understood as conveying the ordinary concept. So, the whole concept of ‘Ok Boomer’ Is likely to fail as a result of it being a viral phrase.

In the United Kingdom it could fail for a lack of distinctiveness as it is such a commonly used phrase at the moment and consists of signs or indications which have become customary in the current language.

For these reasons it is likely to be refused registration because it is such a widely used phrase. This is the reason why memes would be difficult to trade mark as a result of the exposure to hundreds of thousands and even millions and therefore becoming commonplace. Fox’s attempts may therefore be wasted.

Watch this space!

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