The Sad Story of the Rainbow Princess

The Trademark Office deals patiently with its share of unusual applicants.

Certainly the most pitiable is Prema Jyothi Light. In 2001, Ms. Light filed two applications to register her “trademarks,” one of which includes 577 words. The other has slightly fewer words and ends with “WIZZLE-WOOS WOO-HOO-HA-HO-HOOS WOO-HOO-YOO-TOOS YOO-HOO-YOO-HOO-TOOS -YOO-HOO-TOOS.”

The applications were rejected on the ground that a long list of words strung together can’t function as a trademark. Really long strings can be trademarks sometimes: TWOALLBEEFPATTIESSPECIALSAUCELETTUCECHEESEPICKLESONIONSONASESAMESEEDBUN. But Ms. Light’s application really was just a list of characters she was going to include in a series of books.

Unsurprisingly, Ms. Light was unable to convince the examiner who first rejected her applications that she should be granted registrations. There followed a dozen more office actions, most of which were attempts by the many examiners who worked on these files to help Ms. Light understand what was being asked of her.

THIRTEEN years later, after days, weeks, and months of time spent by various examiners and judges, Ms. Light’s applications were dead.

Really, though, the applications were dead from the start. Ms. Light never had a chance. She could have saved herself quite a bit of money and time by asking someone first whether there was any chance of success.

Clearly, Ms. Light genuinely believed she was entitled to registrations. She spent over a decade and a small fortune trying to make it happen. It’s really a very sorrowful story.

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