The F Bomb

If you’re the sensitive-type, put on your blinders …

“Take a guess what they sell at Or just go to the site,” begins this article by Jeffrey C. Billman of the Orlando Weekly. The article features an Orlando attorney, Marc Randazza (who also happens to be a good friend) and his client’s plight to trademark the Web site.

The F-acts, as Mr. Billman succinctly puts them:

The site went live on Sept. 25, 200. In July 2005, the San Francisco-based company that owns [the domain, Cybernet Entertainment LLC, asked the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the word “fuckingmachines.” That’s standard practice for any business that wants to protect its interests.

Cybernet’s request met the government’s most preliminary standard: No one else was using the word “fuckingmachines.” But it didn’t clear another, more important hurdle: The patent office believes the word “fuck” is “scandalous,” and won’t allow Cybernet owner Peter Acworth to trademark it, or any variation of it.


Cybernet appealed the trademark office’s ruling in August. Randazza filed an “amendment and response to office action,” asking the government to reconsider. His argument boils down to the idea that really, the F-word isn’t that bad.

“The Applicant respectfully challenges this characterization of the word ‘fucking’ and its allegedly ‘offensive and vulgar’ root: ‘fuck,’” Randazza writes. Then he launches a crude, funny defense of the word.

“[T]his much maligned four-letter word has no intrinsic meaning,” Randazza writes. “Fuck [can] play a role as a figurative term, for example, ‘to fuck’ can also mean ‘to deceive.’ 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’ can help us express pain, as it is quite frequently the first thing out of most men’s mouths when they strike their thumb (accidentally) with a hammer. ‘Fuck’ is a vehicle for our disappointment, when we see that our report card is not as good as we had hoped, or when our significant other is late for dinner, or leaves us
altogether. ‘Fuck’ is an old friend, who can always make us laugh.”

He quotes from the movie Wedding Crashers: “‘This girl’s fit for a strait-jacket. I mean she’s fucked three ways to the weekend. But you know what, Father? I dig it!’”

“If I didn’t use ‘fuck’ liberally,” Randazza says of his argument, “I’d be conceding the fucking argument [that the word isn’t used in proper settings].”

To say that this appeal is interesting is a … well, you know, an understatement.

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