Procter & Gamble bids to trademark LOL, WTF and other acronyms

LEADING ARTICLEAugust 25 2018 12:01am The Times No LOL Matter The defence of text speak starts right here

LEADING ARTICLEAugust 25 2018 12:01am The Times No LOL Matter The defence of text speak starts right here

American multi-national consumer goods corporation Procter & Gamble, which owns brands like Tide, Ariel, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, etc, that are extensively used across India too, has applied at the US Patent and Trademark Office for trademark applications for LOL (meaning Laughing Out Loud), WTF (What The F--), NBD (No Big Deal) and FML (F-- My Life).

P&G in April registered the trademark applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

According to the Daily Mail Australia, the company hopes to use the terms in liquid soap, dishwashing detergent, hard surface cleaners and air fresheners. The newly branded products would be sold alongside well known items such as Febreze, Fairy and Mr Clean.

While it is unclear whether any company can trademark acronyms of any kind, let alone widely used ones that are popular in social media and email and text communications, the trademark applications appear to be working their way through the PTO review process.

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According to statistics portal Statista, millennials in the United States are expected to increase their annual spending to US$1.4 trillion by 2020.

"Millennials want these little brands, these local brands that they have an emotional attachment to", activist investor Nelson Peltz, who is on P&G's board told CNBC last September.

Now the consumer-products giant faces the question: Will trademarking the terms attract the coveted younger buyers? In the U.S., the New England Patriots tried to trademark "19-0", a reference to an unbeaten season, just two weeks before they lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.

The request is one of several attempts by the company to woo younger...

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