The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has recently issued a precedential opinion denying a Chicago Cubs fan’s request to trademark #MAGICNUMBER108 for t-shirts. The fan, Grant DePorter wished to use the hashtagged phrase in reference to the fact that it took the Cubs 108 years to win the World Series (which occurred in 2016).
The TTAB noted that numerous third parties actually used the hashtagged term on Twitter during and after the 2016 World Series. The TTAB concluded that based on “widespread use of #MAGICNUMBER108 to express affiliation with the Chicago Cubs baseball team and their 2016 World Series win after 108 years, the proposed mark would not be perceived as identifying a particular source when used on goods.” The TTAB supported its denial of the trademark as reinforced by the presence of the hash mark, stating that the “addition of the hash symbol to an otherwise unregistrable term typically will not render the resulting composite term registrable.” The TTAB pointed out each mark containing a hashtag need to be decided on its own facts.
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