- Shannon O’Connor/Bonfire
- TikTok, the beloved video-sharing app, has acted as a launchpad for many viral memes and internet trends, including the phrase “OK Boomer” to diss the older generation.
- As the slogan has gained more attention in the mainstream beyond Generation Z, someone has filed an application with the US government to trademark “OK Boomer” merchandise.
- It’s unclear whether the application will be successful, but there’s already “OK Boomer” merchandise being sold online, and one teen has reportedly made $25,000 from her sales.
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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.
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.
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.”