Two federal trademark applications suggest the world’s biggest MMA promotion is consummating its relationship with one of Dana White’s favorite phrases.
Even after a successful (and highly lucrative) IPO by parent company Endeavor, the UFC and its president, Dana White, are always looking for ways to cultivate new audiences. And on Wednesday, the organization filed two trademark applications for the phrase “Fuck It Friday.” Yes, read that again if you need to take some time to let this settle in.
Josh Gerben, trademark attorney and founder of law firm Gerben Perrott, PLLC, was first to notice the news and shout it out on Twitter. But “Fuck it Friday” isn’t just a potential tagline for Conor McGregor to apply to his raucous weigh-ins; rather, it appears to herald the UFC’s cross-platform expansion into entertainment and lifestyle topics.
The UFC would like to have trademark privileges over the phrase in two realms: “downloadable computer application software for communication devices and media players” and “entertainment services,” as the trademark applications read. Simply, this means the UFC wants to be the full owner of the phrase in any way we give and receive entertainment. Should this be approved by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, podcasts, TV shows, and all other media incarnations would then have to get express permission from Zuffa LLC — the official legal entity that does business as the UFC — to use the phrase.
The trademark applications were filed to pave the way for the UFC to launch a Fuck it Friday-branded app, website, and podcast that focuses primarily on pop culture, food, celebrity culture, and entertainment. Dana White himself has already been posting videos with the phrase as a theme for months — just look at his official Facebook page, hashtagging the phrase. The USPTO has received the applications but as of October 20, no verdict has been reached.
White and the UFC technically could run into the recurring dilemma of attempting to trademark a phrase that’s viewed in the eyes of the law as being too common. For example, it would be impossible for an individual to prove oneself as the originator of the phrase “I Love You.” Wayward attempts to trademark such phrases result in what’s known as “failure-to-function.” These trademark applications are denied and left to be unclaimed.
So, is “Fuck it Friday” sufficiently original to justify a trademark? You’d like to think so. But no matter how much bluster a guy like Uncle Dana may be able to bring to bear on any given day, the final decision is ultimately up to the feds.