Teens have been using the slogan ‘OK Boomer’ to poke fun at older generations, and someone is already trying to trademark the term

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An “OK Boomer” shirt being sold by a 19-year-old named Shannon O’Connor.
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Shannon O’Connor/Bonfire

Someone is trying to capitalize on one of the latest internet memes spawned from Generation Z by trying to trademark it with the US government.

Teens have been using the slogan “OK Boomer” to poke fun at older generations for being out-of-touch, and harnessed it as a rallying cry across the internet and especially on TikTok, the incredibly popular video-sharing app full of viral content. The term has since gotten attention in the mainstream thanks to articles in major news outlets, including a profile from the New York Times’ Taylor Lorenz.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that people are quickly finding ways to profit off the popularity of the slogan beyond creating social media content or getting some laughs out of their friends.

Someone filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office on October 31 to register the trademark “OK BOOMER.” The $275 application aims to trademark “shirts, sweaters, shorts, shoes, and accessories” sporting the two-word slogan.

Business Insider has reached out multiple times to the person who filed the patent application, but has not received a response.

But the person behind the trademark application isn’t the first person with the idea of making merchandise reading “OK Boomer.” A 19-year-old named Shannon O’Connor told the New York Times she has been selling shirts and hoodies with the phrase “OK Boomer” in the same style as the font on plastic shopping bags that read “thank you.” Since promoting her Bonfire merchandise store on TikTok, O’Connor has made $25,000 in sales, she told BBC Radio.

There are others who have also been selling “OK Boomer” merchandise, from buttons and stickers to iPhone cases and coffee mugs.

To be clear, the filing with the US trademark office is just an application. Actually securing an official trademark usually takes more than a year from start to finish. It’s also not clear how successful the trademark application would be, given that “OK Boomer” has already appeared on merchandise and in popular culture.

A recent case that could point at the “OK Boomer” trademark’s potential outcome is Lebron James’ recent attempt to trademark the phrase “Taco Tuesday.” The US Patent and Trademark Office denied the basketball star’s application on the basis that the phrase is “a commonplace term, message or expression widely used by a variety of sources that merely conveys an ordinary, familiar, well-recognized concept or sentiment.”