Comfyballs Mens Underwear Deemed Indecent For Men Not For Women!
It appears that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has its points of contention with regards to Comfyballs men's underwear.
Anders Selvig, the founder of a Norwegian brand known as Comfyballs attempted to register his company name in the USA (after successfully doing this is 22 nations), but he couldn't apply as a men's underwear company.
The USPTO said Comfyballs was excessively indecent.
"Registration is denied on the grounds that the applied for mark comprises of or incorporates indecent or scandalous matter," the office replied, declining Comfyballs' application because of its use of, well, balls in its name.
The Great Wrongdoer!
"The use of "balls" in this context is used instead of the word "testicles"", the USPTO said. "The thought behind the mark is that a man's testicles will be agreeable in the applicant's goods. Tragically, the term "balls" has an obscene meaning to a substantial composition of hte general plublic."
The USPTO cited the Random House dictionary's meaning of "balls" as being inappropriate in this context, and also the negative response to Ben and Jerry's Schweddy Balls ice cream flavor.
[EDITORS NOTE: Although Ben & Jerry were mentioned with "Schweddy Balls", they get NO credit for it. The term was made popular by one of the top 10 Saturday Night Live skits in history, which starred Alec Baldwin.
I have added the video to the bottom of the post, (video was taken down by NBC and doesn't allow viewing in the USA!) and if you have never seen it, you should take 5 minutes and watch. Your eyes will be wet with tears as Ana Gasteyer and Molly Shannon do everything possible to make the other actors begin to laugh. It is obvious when watching that it took every bit of concentration for them to stay in character. This is the only Alec Baldwin skit I like, so if you aren't a Baldwin fan, try watching this one anyway.]
That was 2013, yet the brand didn't surrender. They registered once more, this time as a women's underwear brand, and the USPTO issued their certificate that month, for a registered trademark.
"This is a reference point for us, a little bit strange perhaps," Selvig told in an email. "As English is not our local dialect, we thoroughly comprehend that the USPTO may have been right on the assumed perceived vulgarity of our men's underwear application, yet a layman all over could surely contend that Comfyballs for women's underwear is similarly or more vulgar than the same for men."
So comfyballs has a Registered Trademark (and uses the R in a circle); but must use the "TM" for their men's line. What is really funny is they do NOT HAVE a women's line at this time!
"In parallel with realizing that we wouldn't have the capacity to enlist for men's underwear, we were building up another women's line," Selvig stated, adding that the trademark obstacle didn't restrict him from marketing Comfyballs in the US – and conceded that he held off on a major launch, trusting he'd get more buzz on the name controversy!
"We strongly trust that it establishes our platform better from the get go to have such registration. A federal registration establishes our ownership of the mark and our exclusive right to utilize the trademark across the nation, and we can record it with US Customs to stall the importation of infringing goods," Selvig said.