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On Your MARK, Get Set, Go: The COVID-19 and Coronavirus Trademarks Race

COVID-19 and Coronavirus trademarks

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COVID-19 and Coronavirus Trademarks “gone viral”

corona phoneNot so long ago, COVID-19 and Coronavirus were not in my vocabulary. How about you?

That was then. This is now.

In actual fact, the terms COVID-19 and Coronavirus are now everywhere.  Generally speaking, these terms are part of the news, social media, and every conversation.

Further, trademark applications with the word COVID-19 and Coronavirus trademarks have also “gone viral”.


COVID-19 and Coronavirus Trademark Applications

Registering a trademark is a low-priced, high value action for any business.

Notably, brand owners agree.

According to a recent article in LAW360, there were only 3 USPTO trademark applications with the term “COVID” on March 11th of 2020.  After all, this is the day the World Health Organization declared the pandemic.  At the time of this writing, my own search at the USPTO on April 25, 2020 identified 125 applications.

Further, according to LAW360, there were just 4 USPTO applications for “coronavirus” trademarks on March 11th.  In fact, my search at the USPTO on April 25th identified 43 applications.

APPLE’S COVID-19 Trademark Application

applecovidAll things considered, I believe there’s actually many more trademark applications that don’t specifically use the terms COVID-19 or Coronavirus.

For example, Apple filed a trademark for their COVID-19 app/icon.   

This icon identifies Apple’s COVID-19 app.  The app provides a  “… set of resources to help people … protect their health during the spread of COVID-19…”

Types of COVID-19 AND Coronavirus Trademark Applications

The most popular type: simple word marks

  • COVID-19 Compliant
  • Stay Inside I survived COVID-19
  • We fought COVID-19
  • #coronavirus
  • I survived coronavirus

The most popular category: marketing materials

6 foot911crossroad

Medical goods and services category example

med tm

Entertainment industry category example

corona ent

Registration of COVID-19 and Coronavirus Trademarks

By and large, the pundents predict most will be rejected and abandoned.

Similarly, based on my experience protecting trademarks, I partially agree.  For example, those not in actual use, the word marks with no distinction, and the many duplicate word marks face the greatest registration challenges.

However, the creative, distinctive, marks that are in use have a good chance of being registered.

Here’s a simple checklist.

trademark criteria

In conclusion, here’s my advice:

If your COVID-19 or Coronavirus Trademark is unique, on sale, and not confusingly similar to others, then you should apply to register the trademark.  

Your future self will be glad you did!

Check out the entire Coronavirus and Small Business Law Series here.

Do you need help with protecting your trademarks?  Contact me here.

About Sagacity Legal:
Sagacity Legal is a Florida-based firm that works with service-based small business owners, who want to minimize their legal risk so they can focus on achieving their full potential.

This article and all content herein is solely intended for general information purposes and should not be construed as legal advice in any manner. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing, or communication via email or other means does not establish an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client relationship is only formed when a written engagement agreement is executed. We disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this website to the fullest extent permitted by law. Do not act or refrain from acting upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.

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