Not my problem, so I'm moving on.
and1504.01(e) Offensive Subject Matter
Design applications which disclose subject matter which could be deemed offensive to any race, religion, sex, ethnic group, or nationality, such as those which include caricatures or depictions, should be rejected as nonstatutory subject matter under 35 U.S.C. 171. See also MPEP § 608. Form paragraph 15.09 should be used.
I guess it makes enough sense as far as it goes.15.10 Offensive Subject Matter
The disclosure, and therefore the claim in this application, is rejected as being offensive and therefore improper subject matter for design patent protection under 35 U.S.C. 171. Such subject matter does not meet the statutory requirements of 35 U.S.C. 171. Moreover, since 37 CFR 1.3 proscribes the presentation of papers which are lacking in decorum and courtesy, and this includes depictions of caricatures in the disclosure, drawings, and/or a claim which might reasonably be considered offensive, such subject matter as presented herein is deemed to be clearly contrary to 37CFR 1.3. See MPEP § 608.
Just in the interest of common decency a business shouldn't be able to claim a cartoon silhouette of an enormous penis, or an exaggerated, stereotypical likeness of an individual (something as in the image below) as a trademark.
I guess the only real question is, "How far do you actually take it?"
Virtually anything can be considered offensive by somebody, so what's the standard where society has to step in and say, "You know what? We appreciate that you find the Nike "Swoosh" offensive because you lost your eye to a horrible fishing hook accident when you were a boy, but the "Swoosh" image is fairly innocuous and acceptable to society in general so we're going to have to go ahead and let Nike do their thing".
When you get to something like the Redskins patent and trademark you've potentially got a large number of people who might be directly offended and you're probably treading much closer to the kind of terrain where a large segment of the population would be supportive of that large number of people who would be effected directly.
Bottom line here is that I think the Redskins franchise definitely has grounds to fight this decision but at the same time I think the U.S. Patent Office is on pretty firm regulatory footing in the decisions they've reached.
While many of us may not agree with the decision, it certainly wasn't capricious nor is it completely impossible to understand where it came from or why it was reached.
Last edited by soot; 06-18-14 at 11:44 AM.
“Now it is not good for the Christian’s health to hustle the Aryan brown,
For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the Christian down;
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear: “A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.”
No matter what you do, someone will be pissed; in whatever you do, regardless of the topic.