Dykes on bikes and judges on dictionaries

(See also earlier entry)

IPKAT reports on the evidence relied on when the application to register ‘Dykes on bikes’ was refused. Apparently there were over 400 pages of submissions, but the US Patent and Trademark Office relief on two dictionary definitions. One of these was from an online version of the 1913 Webster’s dictionary (whatever that is – was ‘Webster” copyrighted then? because it isn’t now). The online version included arbitrary additions, however, bearing the tag of Patrick J. Cassidy:

bq. Terms in the dictionary bearing his “tag” indicate that they were not, in fact, part of the original dictionary he had transcribed online but rather something that he himself had arbitrarily added. So in essence, the PTO relied on a definition that was created at random by someone not at all associated with Webster’s dictionary. The second definition the PTO relied on came from an online dictionary of Spanish slang that listed “dyke” as a “vulgar word.” Once again there was no accountability for the definition — it was just one person’s site giving what they consider vulgar words in Spanish.

Previously approved trademarks include Hustler’s Young Sluts, Psychic Phone Whores and Psychobitch, which all contain words regarded as vulgar by that dictionary.

There must be a doctorate going on the topic of judges and dictionaries.

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