An enterprising individual attempted to secure trademark registration for the term BONG HITS 4 JESUS. Naturally, the USPTO rejected the application on a few grounds. The first was that the term is “merely ornamental” — a position that I agree with.
Here is where the USPTO gets really creepy – again!
In the Morse case, the Supreme Court also said the phrase BONG HITS 4 JESUS has a “paucity of alternative meanings,” and said that the message was “no doubt offensive to some.” Morse v. Frederick 127 S. Ct. at 2624. While there is no prohibition against offensive trademarks, there is no constitutional right to obtain a trademark registration. It is the nature of the potential offensiveness of the phrase BONG HITS 4 JESUS that make it scandalous and therefore not eligible for registration.
According to the attached evidence, discussed above, the proposed mark BONG HITS 4 JESUS promotes the use of illegal drugs by attributing its use to a religious figure. This is scandalous because Christians would be morally outraged by a statement that connects Jesus Christ with illegal drug use. Accordingly, the mark BONG HITS 4 JESUS is scandalous and cannot register based on the current record.
A mark that is deemed scandalous under Section 2(a) is not eligible for registration on either the Principal or Supplemental Register. TMEP §1203.01.
While the final paragraph in this is correct, the rest of it is just crap. First of all, who says that Jesus *didn’t* smoke dope? Personally, I bet he did. Second, does the USPTO think that marijuana was illegal in Judea in 20 A.D.?
I really hope that the next administration puts an end to the hiring spree of Regent University graduates in positions of authority.