Weeks after the rise of what we call “the best meme of 2019,” the phrase “okay, boomer” has reached proportions beyond the interwebs. The year-end zinger has seen its way to the New Zealand parliament, while local politicians’ tweets were met with a flood of responses, all chanting that same thing. And in the nature of buzzkills, commercialization, and boomer attitudes, “OK, Boomer” is the latest meme in line for trademark.
Fox Media, widely known as American right-wing giant slash Donald Trump fan club, has recently applied for rights to the phrase. According to a tweet by trademark lawyer Josh Gerben, Fox filed for “OK, Boomer” last Nov. 11, with intentions of launching a reality, comedy, or game show under this title.
FOX has filed a trademark application for “OK BOOMER.”
The media giant filed the application on November 11th.
According to the filing, FOX intends to launch a reality, comedy and/or game show called OK BOOMER.
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) November 18, 2019
While notable, this isn’t the first attempt to grab hold of the catchphrase. Several other applicants have tried their hand in having “OK, Boomer” for themselves, ranging from clothing brands to stage plays. However, these may all just lead to zilch.
“In all likelihood, the USPTO [United States Patent and Trademark Office] will deny all of these applications because OK BOOMER has become a ‘widely used message,’” Gerben tells CNN. “A trademark registration will not issue in a phrase that is commonly used to convey a social or political message. This is because such a ‘viral’ phrase is incapable of identifying the source of a product or service—which is what trademarks must do to be capable of registration.”
With Kylie Jenner attempting to trademark “rise and shine,” cashing in on memes is the quickest way to kill it. Let’s not forget the glaring irony of a conglomerate taking ownership of a phrase opposing the powers that be. To them, we can only say one thing: Okay, boomer (without the “TM”).
Header from Shannon O’Connor of @toasterpancakes