In a previous post, I told the story of Apple’s surprising level of concern for the danger which could be posed to attorneys by my MURDERING LAWYERS mobile app game. It is perhaps less surprising that the staff at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO, comprised largely of attorneys) has now expressed trepidation about the related filing for trademark protection.
My ace trademark attorney, Laura Winston of Kim Winston LLP (also my favorite wife), had already commented on unusual delays by the USPTO during the initial examination of the application and after submission of the “statement of use”. Then a couple of days ago Ms. Winston received a businesslike voice message from a USPTO examining attorney. The woman stated that she was calling about the “statement of use concerning the trademark for Murdering Lawyers”. She said, “I was hoping we could talk about the identification of goods [covered under the trademark]. Basically we have concerns about the mark basically being seen as promoting violence against lawyers.”
Luckily, she had a solution to propose, one which would safeguard members of her profession (at least from me and my fans). The examiner asked whether it would be possible for the “trademark owner” to agree to add, after the “description of goods”, the phrase “all of the aforementioned goods featuring themes from a fictional murder mystery novel”. In a magnanimous humanitarian gesture, I agreed. So now our application describes the goods that we seek to protect in connection with the MURDERING LAWYERS trademark as “Computer game software; Computer game software for use on mobile and cellular phones; Downloadable computer game software via a global computer network and wireless devices; all of the aforementioned goods featuring themes from a fictional murder mystery novel.” You can click here to see the status of my application, and you can see the amended description if you click on the link for Goods and Services.
By the way, I initially had ambitious plans of plastering the words MURDERING LAWYERS on all sorts of apparel, including hats and t-shirts, but later got more realistic (that being said, if you would like to purchase an entire MURDERING LAWYERS wardrobe, please contact me and I’m sure we can work something out). As a result of my abandoning a career in fashion, that particular trademark application had its status officially changed from “Live” to “Dead” (see screen shot below). So, appropriately, the trademark MURDERING LAWYERS is both “live” and “dead”.
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So there you have it, my latest tale of attorney angst and dread. Once again the profession has been protected/lulled into a false sense of security. As a result, hopefully you, my readers and gamers, will continue to enjoy facing off against corrupt lawyers and judges (and other more surprising enemies) in my mobile app game (here are links to download the free game if you haven’t already: iTunes and Google Play).