Lampoontang Appeals Trademark Rejection

Feb 16, 2011 4:00 PM PST
WASHINGTON — Adult production company Lampoontang on Tuesday filed an appeal with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after an examiner rejected its application to trademark its name.

Lampoontang, which bills itself as "the world's only porn company devoted entirely to social, political and religious satire," has tapped adult industry attorney Marc Randazza to litigate a reversal.

The company contends a USPTO examiner arbitrarily rejected its application because of the term "poontang."

"After sifting through the elements of the mark, the examiner decided that a portion of the letters in the mark made up a term that he thinks is degrading to women as a class," the appeal says. "Based on the evidence supplied to the examiner — which he apparently ignored — his finding of disparagement is erroneous."

Lampoontang President Doug Diamond said he is disappointed by the actions of the USPTO, but that his "company has a role to play in fighting this kind of bias."

“We had hoped that the end of the Bush administration marked the end of social conservatism and superstitious beliefs taking priority over a rigorous application of the law, legal precedent and the free speech rights guaranteed by the Constitution,” Diamond said. “Sadly, bureaucracy moves slowly, forcing us to fight the battles of the past over and over again to protect our freedoms from those who would abridge them.”

Randazza, whose law offices have composed the appeal, said he the fight is worth it on constitutional grounds, because he believes Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act is unconstitutional. The law allows examiners to reject trademarks if they deem them "immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter."

"I further believe that it has been used by examiners with personal agendas in order to discriminate against adult entertainment companies," Randazza said. "I am proud that Lampoontang has given us the authority to vindicate its rights in this case.”

Diane Duke, the Free Speech Coalition's executive director, said the application's rejection "is another example of our government having different standards for expression they don’t like."

"More often than not adult businesses like Lampoontang have to pay the price to fight for free expression," she told XBIZ. "Our appreciation and support go out to Doug Diamond and Marc Randazza. Gentlemen you are fighting this battle for all of us who believe in the right of free expression. Thank you."

Lampoontang operates a website where it markets videos, including its most recent, "Saddleback Nation," which mocks exploits of Christian teens having anal sex to preserve their technical virginity for marriage. The company's next movie will be "Burqakke: Vixens Under the Veil."

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