The ongoing crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic has already affected a million people worldwide and continues to infect thousands of people every day. However, Americans are finding the entrepreneurial streak amid the outbreak inspired by the virus itself.
The US Patent and Trademark Office has reported an increase in applications associated with the coronavirus pandemic, with dozens coming from the tri-state area.
Some of the brand names include Coronababy, Shelter in Paradise, COVID Kid, Quarantini, Be Covidgilant, Corona-Geddon, COVID Pro Quo, Social Distance Fitness, The Corona You Want, Quarantine Madness and Heineken Virus.
There were also applications for Social Distancing CBD oil, beer, and crop tops.
Filing trademark in the time of crisis
Applications related to coronavirus has shot up since the crisis started, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The NBCUniversal filed a variation of its slogan Comedy Starts Here, which is Together Starts Here. Bank of America claimed It’s Great to Be Home. Miley Cyrus filed one for her Instagram TV show Bright Minded, which was created as a coronavirus response. Also, Vice Media applied for Shelter in Place.
There were also five or more people who tried to acquire the trademark for I Survived the Coronavirus.
Sean Green, 54 and an Ardmore family doctor, filed for COVID-19 Takes Down Covfefe on March 26, as a reference to Trump’s mistyped tweet. He acknowledged the silliness of it but added they always come up with stuff because it’s not sure what catches on and what doesn’t. He likened the application to a lottery, where people play even without the guarantee of a win.
Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer from Washington, counted over 120 coronavirus-related applications in the past week, with more coming in each day. Every request to the USPTO costs $275. He commented some proposals could use more creativity.
Social Distancing clothing was filed by Robert Dim, 27, on March 22 through the Darty Co. brand, which he established in Sicklerville, Camden County. He stated that his vision of building a Social Distancing streetwear lifestyle brand was to represent what some people stand for.
Dim, however, does not expect his trademark claim to be granted as the phrase ‘social distancing’ is now commonly used everywhere. Still, he hopes that it’s possible to acquire the already famous term.
How applications are rejected
Gerben stated filing applications for trademark typically get rejected if a phrase or word is deemed ubiquitous. However, Shelter in Paradise, which is for a resort-hotel that riffs on the stay-at-home directive, could get a better chance at approval.
People who call Gerben’s law office asking to file a trademark for COVID-19 and the disease are a lost cause, with Gerben saying it’s a waste of time and money.
Bernitha Biggs, a government employee and mother of two from Hollywood, Florida, filed for Social Distancer Stop 6 Feet Please last March 18, which she plans to use on hats and search to remind people who disrespect social distancing guidelines during this crisis. Biggs believes people don’t take the rules seriously.
Gerben noted that Anheuser-Bush Inbev, the company that owns Corona beer, could be monitoring Corona-related applications, and would likely challenge any name that will overstep its territory. Brand concerns could become a thing for Corona beer if the trend keeps up.
Halted mainstream growth
Meanwhile, cannabidiol was on track to a mainstream status just as the coronavirus outbreak started. CBD products could be seen almost anywhere, from coffee shops to magazines and specialty retailers. A lot of innovative products have been infused with CBD, including pillows and beverages, among others.
CBD saw an accelerated growth, but the coronavirus pandemic put a temporary stop to its increasing popularity, mainly since there has been an economy-wide shut down all over the country.
Currently, many cannabis dispensaries in different states have been deemed an essential service, which means that they can remain open and serve customers. However, most are only allowed to offer curbside pickup or delivery. However, several dispensaries only will enable the sale of medical marijuana, making recreational cannabis unpermitted for purchase.
Still, industry experts believe that once the economy re-opens, CBD could again regain its momentum. Before the crisis, Brightfield Group forecasted the CBD industry to grow to $22 billion by 2022.