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Trademark Rejection of the Word “cum”

WWW- In what is likely one of the dirtiest public filings ever, a government lawyer included scores of pornographic photos as “evidence” to support his decision to reject a California woman’s application to trademark the phrase “You cum like a girl.”

In a July notice to applicant Cathy Carlson, United States Patent and Trademark Office examining attorney Patrick Shanahan reported that since the word “cum” was “directly associated with degrading sexual acts,” her trademark request was “deemed scandalous” and therefore not eligible for registration.

As first reported by the LA Weekly’s Margy Rochlin, Carlson, an L.A. performer who uses the phrase in her comedy act and puts it on t-shirts she sells, learned of the final trademark refusal via an e-mail that contained several XXX attachments.

A copy of the official USPTO notice (which TSG downloaded from the federal agency’s web site) can be found below, though we’ve blurred out the filthy parts, which cover 16 pages of the document.

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0911061uspto1.html

In the rejection notice, Shanahan wrote that, “as distasteful as it may seem, the trademark examining attorney refers to a sampling of excerpted materials from the Google search engine in which CUM appeared in reference to ejaculation in hundreds of stories. See attachments.” Those attachments contain the smut, which attorney Shanahan apparently found on two pornographic web sites. As Carlson told the Weekly, “He could have sent one picture. He sent 10 megabytes.”

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