Coronavirus (TM)

You've probably heard the expression "Never let a good crisis go to waste" (or something similar) since the Coronavirus crisis started, right? It's actually usually mis-attributed or misquoted (usually to Churchill)...but that's not important right now.

Trademarks and The Virus

It seems that those of entrepreneurial spirit have taken the "good crisis" thing to heart. In the 120 days since January 22, 2020 (the date of the first reported case of Coronavirus) there have been: 

  • 572 trademark applications made which include the word "Corona"
  • 619 trademark applications made which include the word "Covid"
  • 398 trademark applications made which include the word "Virus" (for comparison purposes, in the same period last year, there was 27)
  • 26 trademark applications made which include the word "Crisis"
  • 71 trademark applications made which include the word "Survive(d)" 
  • 56 trademark applications made which include the word "Pandemic"
  • 54 trademark applications made which include the words "Front line"

Considering there's an overlap in many of them ("I survived the coronaviras pandemic") that breaks down to roughly 10 trademark applications per day that relate to Coronavirus.

Coronavirus Trademark Highlights

Some of my personal favourites include:

  • Heineken Virus (Get it? Lol)

  • Jesus Kills Virus (stop working on the vaccination lads!)

  • Corona Virus The Pandemic (Movie, coming soon)

  • Even Haters Hate Coronavirus (we're all in this together guys!)

  • Coronavirus: Made in China (Stay classy America!)

  • Coronavirus Party (someone has been at the powerpoint)

  • Sicker Than Coronavirus: This Guy (already ordered mine!)

  • F**K Corona (Simple, and to the point!)

  • Coronababy (because, well, you know!)


The Problem With Coronavirus Trademark Applications

Nearly all of them will be rejected and were a complete waste of money.

Applying for "Coronavirus" as a trademark completely misunderstands what a trademark is, and what it's supposed to do. A trademark is supposed to act as a "badge of origin". You see something with the Nike "swoosh" on it, you know that item was manufactured and produced by Nike. 

Some descriptive terms can function as trademarks. Sometimes a phrase can acquire distinctiveness through use. But most of these trademark applications will not fulfill the conditions.

Here comes the science bit (and blatant plug for work)

Before you spend money applying for a trademark (especially if it's anything to do with Coronavirus) talk to a lawyer. They will probably be able to tell you not to. I won't even charge you. Don't. There, you are welcome.