How much ridiculousness gets filed at the U.S. Trademark Office?
More than you can fathom. Here’s the hilariously crazy stuff I found just by looking at applications to register NIKE.
Luhua Zhao tried to register NIKE for this bizarre combination of goods:
Agricultural machinery; Aquarium pumps; Cheese making machines Clothes washing machines; Cutting machines; can openers; drills; generators; glue guns; Electric hammers; hand-held drills; Electric screwdrivers; vacuum cleaners.
In support of his application, he literally wrote “Nike” on a piece of paper and taped it to a vacuum cleaner.
Rodney Hamilton submitted two applications to register WWW.NIKE.COM and NIKE.COM for marketing services. Maybe Doug Lehocky got his idea to throw away $50,000 in trademark office fees from Mr. Hamilton, because the specimens are almost as convincing as what Mr. Lehocky used. Check out these totally legit business cards:
When faced with failure, Nike Securities, L.P. believes in doubling down. Here’s the timeline for their clever strategy for beating Nike, Inc. in the trademark game:
- 1991. Nike Securities applies to register NIKE for financial services.
- 1992. Nike, Inc. opposes the application.
- 1996. While the opposition to their first application is still going on, Nike Securities files three more applications to register a logo with NIKE SECURITIES L.P.
- 1998. Still unbowed, Nike Securities then filed an application to register NY-KEE.
Not content to rest on the mere foolishness of trying to register NIKE, Mr. Zhao, Mr. Hamilton, and Nike Securities set a new low for their innovative specimens, whacked-out goods descriptions, and weird strategies.
 Eight years earlier, the same dude also tried to register IHOP for “jacket, pants, sweaters, suit, hat, cap, shirt, T-shirt, casual wears, socks, sport shoes, hiking shoes.”
 What the hell is a cheese-making machine?
 All three are for identical logos but each is for a slightly different type of financial services. Why waste $300 when you can just as easily waste $900?