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Student Media of East Central Heritage Middle School

Fox files trademark for ‘OK boomer’

2 min read

Garrett V. –Photojournalist

‘OK boomer’ has become a new widely used phrase by teens and millennials, usually used for when older people are out of touch.

Its origins lie in when 25-year old New Zealand lawmaker Chlöe Swarbrick used the phrase, dismissing an older member of parliament after they heckled her while speaking about the countries Zero Carbon Bill.

The wide use of the phrase has led to several trademark applications for its use, two of which are for TV shows. The most notable claim comes from FOX, filed on November 11 and discovered by trademark attorney Joshua Gerben.

Fox has the intent to launch a TV series called “OK boomer”, and Gerben says that it could be “a reality, comedy and/or game show.” 

“It would seem unlikely that a company of this size would file such an application unless a show was being considered,” told Gerben.

Fox isn’t the only one trying to file a trademark for the phrase. On October 31, a man named Kevin Yen based out of New York filed an application for a brand of clothing. After Fox filed its application, a Pittsburgh-based company filed for a brand of stickers and decals. After that, producer William Grundfest filed a trademark in his name personally for a TV show. Grundfest’s trademark was for a series of live stage performances about “generational differences.”

“In all likelihood, the USPTO will deny all of these applications because OK BOOMER has become a ‘widely used message,'” said Gerben. “A trademark registration will not issue in a phrase that is commonly used to convey a social or political message. This is because such a ‘viral’ phrase is incapable of identifying the source of a product or service — which is what trademarks must do to be capable of registration.”

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