August 21, 2017
Almost anything that catches the public’s attention for more than a few minutes ends up as the subject of a trademark application by someone trying to capitalize on the moment and own a piece of the public discourse. So it is not surprising that today’s solar eclipse spawned quite a few filings, some directly relating to the event itself others simply capitalizing on the spike of the word in consumer’s consciousness.
There were 80 eclipse marks filed in the U.S. in 2016-2017, including:
The most questionable trademark strategy is that of Sinclair Finance Group, application on SUN VALLEY SOLAR ECLIPSE AUGUST 21, 2017 — which was filed on August 4, 2017.
They won’t get an Office Action until November, longer after the August 21 date they included in their mark. The most well planned strategy has to be that of Southern Illinois University, whose Reg. No. 5177673 on ECLIPSE 2017-2024 SOUTHERN ILLINOIS ECLIPSE CROSSROADS OF AMERICA plans ahead for the next great solar eclipse in 2024:
There will always be those who try to “own” by trademarking a piece of our common human experience. Some are just better at it than others.