(TMU) — Fox Media LLC has recently filed a trademark application for the viral phrase “OK, boomer,” and if that isn’t ironic enough, the trademark is related to a television show that will use the phrase as its title.
A screenshot of the application was posted to Twitter on Monday by Josh Gerben, a Trademark lawyer and the founder of Gerben Law Firm in Washington D.C. This trademark application is just one of many that have been filed for the phrase in recent weeks, as it has grown in popularity. However, most of the trademark applications are related to merchandise.
FOX has filed a trademark application for "OK BOOMER."
The media giant filed the application on November 11th.
According to the filing, FOX intends to launch a reality, comedy and/or game show called OK BOOMER.
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) November 18, 2019
The filing states that Fox is seeking exclusive rights to the phrase for “Entertainment services, namely, an on-going television series featuring reality competition, comedy, and game shows.”
It is interesting to imagine what type of reality show or game show would have a name like OK Boomer. It is safe to assume which demographic contestants will be chosen from but one has to wonder what type of challenges and competitions could be involved with such a show. Who can or can’t use a remote correctly? Or perhaps who can successfully leave a Facebook comment with the correct punctuation and capitalization—or even who can leave the most boomer-esque comment of them all complete with capitals, gifs, random spaces, and too many commas. And maybe extra points will be awarded to those who insist marijuana is a gateway drug despite reading ample evidence that states otherwise.
If the trademark is not granted, Fox may have to scrap the show altogether, or simply go back to the drawing board and pick another name. Unfortunately for the network, it looks like chances are slim that their application will be approved because of how popular the phrase has become.
Gerben told CNN that with so many different applications for the phrase coming it, it is going to be very difficult for Fox to stake an exclusive claim on its use. According to his expertise, it is more likely that such a widely used phrase would remain in the public domain for anyone to use.
“In all likelihood, the USPTO will deny all of these applications because OK BOOMER has become a ‘widely used message. A trademark registration will not issue in a phrase that is commonly used to convey a social or political message. This is because such a ‘viral’ phrase is incapable of identifying the source of a product or service—which is what trademarks must do to be capable of registration,” Gerben told CNN.
While brands such as Netflix and Natural Light have used the viral meme in their advertising campaigns, Fox seems to be the first major corporation to actually file a trademark application.