Crap to the crap — I’m on day 10 and I have yet to hear from Tina Fey. When I was watching the Oscars on Sunday, I was half-hoping that Tina Fey would break from the formality of the Oscars and give me a shout out — something to the effect of, “Alexis Nectar! You absolutely don’t need to suck it, but send me your script!” That didn’t happen, and I courageously held back the tears of defeat at AG’s fabulous Oscar party.
Perhaps I should rededicate my efforts to the law? My sister notified me of the following pending action regarding the “Pull My Finger” application for the iPhone. Trademark law is pretty awesome — while the issues are of course framed by principles of law and codified regulations and statutes, decisions ultimately come down to an understanding of human thought and nature. And human thought and nature are what every good writer (and aspiring writer) hopes to grasp competently. So what is the dispute?
Well, Air-O-Matic makes the iPhone’s “Pull My Finger” application, and newbie iFart Mobile has been using the phrase “pull my finger” in its advertisements. So is iFart Mobile misappropriating Air-O-Matic’s trademark? Depends on how you view the phrase “pull my finger.” As one counsel described:
The phrase “pull my finger,” and derivations thereof, are generally known and widely understood in American society to be a joke or prank regarding flatulence. The prank begins when the prankster senses the deep stirrings of flatulence. The prankster then requests that an unsuspecting person pull [his or her] finger. The prankster extends his index finger to the victim. As the victim pulls the prankster’s finger, his flatulence erupts so as to suggest a causal relationship between the pulling of the finger and the subsequent expulsion of gas. In other words, the phrase “pull my finger” is understood to be a description of the act of passing gas.
Air-O-Matic claims that iFart’s use of the “pull my finger” phrase is confusing customers searching for a fart app for their iPhones — that persons searching for the “Pull My Finger” application are being misdirected to the iFart’s application. Here are some videos explaining the apps:
Okay, first off — can we just discuss the fact that the two companies are named “Air-O-Matic” and “iFart?” I’m just thinking about the pimply-faced tech geeks who came up with those names, as they beat around names in a fart-filled room while stuffing their faces with flatulence-inducing foods such as raisins and Cheetos. So can the phrase “pull my finger” be trademarked? Donald Trump trademarked the common phrase, “You’re fired.” I took the liberty of checking the USPTO website to see if other terms of bodily excrement have been trademarked (or attempted to be). “Prairie dogging it” has not been trademarked. “Turtlehead” has been trademarked for general clothing. “Dirty Sanchez” has a live trademark (EWW!).
I’m not sure how any of this has to do with Tina Fey — thankfully. Although I did begin my post with “Crap to the crap,” so I suppose there is a tangential relationship. Tina Fey, for the record, I promise to never ask you to pull my finger. Although if you asked me to pull yours, I’d gladly oblige (and would not judge – everybody farts).
Discover me, Tina Fey!