Home > News > Kink.com Appeals URL Deemed 'Obscene' • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Kink.com Appeals URL Deemed 'Obscene'

Kink.com Appeals URL Deemed 'Obscene'
Get XBIZ News
XBIZ Research
Will Google uphold its commitment to 'Freedom of Expression' when it comes to organic adult search results?
Yes
  32.09%
No
  67.91%
Out of 187 votes. Results based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network.
Tuesday, Jun 12, 2007    Text size: 
SAN FRANCISCO — Fetish content provider Kink.com has filed an appeal with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after being denied a brand for FuckingMachines.com, deemed obscene according to Section 2(a) of the federal trademark code.

FuckingMachines.com, a site whose URL accurately describes its content, launched in 2000, and Kink.com owner Peter Acworth first applied for a trademark with the government five years later. But because the patent office's trademark code deems "fuck" to be immoral and scandalous, Acworth's request was denied.

It is up to the federal government to define what words are immoral and what words are acceptable — "immoral" and "scandalous" are not defined by the code. The Orlando Weekly reports that 39 trademark petitions including the words "fuck" and "fucking" have been filed with the patent office, and none have been approved. "Bitch" and "ass" are allowed.

Michael Engel, the attorney who reviewed the case for the government, said that the word "fucking" is "an offensive and vulgar reference to the act of sex," and is a mark that is deemed scandalous. Therefore, he said, it cannot be registered.

Acworth's attorney, Marc Randazza, believes the rejection is unconstitutional, and that "the trademark office has gone off the deep end" with these sorts of trademark refusals.

Adult industry lawyer Robert Apgood told XBIZ he agrees with Randazza, and that he's noticed an excessive number of trademark requests rejected for containing "scandalous" material.

"It's really quite unfortunate that the executive branch is now reaching deep into the machinations of government to further its 'legislation of morality' agenda," Apgood said. "It is truly encouraging to see the likes of Acworth and Randazza take up this sorely needed fight."

Acworth said he doesn't want to become the spokesman for 1st Amendment rights in the adult industry; he merely wants to trademark his website titles. He was previously denied a trademark for Kink's WhippedAss.com, but the decision was overturned.

Acworth said in the meantime, the term FuckingMachines has been stolen — when he attempted to buy FuckingMachines.eu, he found it had already been purchased by an outside party. Instead of bringing the issue to court, however, Acworth simply bought the domain back.

Randazza said the trademark code, which was written in 1905 and has yet to be updated, is out-of-date with contemporary society. The words considered immoral at the time are now used frequently in mainstream speech and titles, he said, citing usage in movies, TV shows and even in common terminology.

“Fuck [can] play a role as a figurative term, for example, ‘to fuck’ can also mean ‘to deceive,’ Randazza wrote in his appeal. "It is a word of force that can assist us in our expressions of joy when used as an infix, as in ‘abso-fucking-lutely.' ‘Fuck’ helps us express rage when we scream ‘fuck you’ at a football referee, or at a motorist who has just cut us off in traffic. ‘Fuck’ is an old friend, who can always make us laugh.”

Randazza and Acworth now await a hearing before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

OPINIONS & VIEWS

Legal Reality: Discussing Intangibles

We live in an age of unprecedented consumer access to a nearly limitless amount of content. As a result, sellers of goods and services have been challenged like never before to find ways to reach new customers... More »

The Power of Persistence

While there’s always someone that will tell you that things have never been better for their firm, many companies are continuing to face significant challenges in adapting their business models to... More »

Hosting Talk: Data-Driven Decision-Making

From the earliest days of the Internet’s rise as a commercial marketplace, there has been a steady improvement in the technology available to monitor and analyze our sites’ traffic patterns.... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Sexpo

Aug 01 - Aug 03
Sydney, Australia

QWEBEC Expo Montreal

Aug 15 - Aug 17
Montreal, Canada

Asia Adult Expo

Aug 28 - Aug 30
Macau, China

CatalystCon West

Sep 11 - Sep 14
Los Angeles, California
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!