Thunderpussy vs the trademark office


Seattle rock band Thunderpussy are currently embroiled in a battle with the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) in a case that will see some form of a resolution today, April 15th.

The case surrounds the trademark of the ‘Thunderpussy’ name, which the band want to trademark. The USPTO however, have denied the band the claim on the grounds that the word “pussy” is “immoral” and “scandalous”. These guidelines were set in the Truman-era Lanham Act of 1946, with the USPTO even citing UrbanDictionary(!) as a source for labelling the word “pussy” as “immoral”.

The band are hoping that a Supreme Court case that will be settled today will help resolve this issue for the band. The Supreme Court is ruling on the court case of Iancu v. Brunetti, which sees FUCT clothing brand owner Eric Brunetti fight to keep the name of his clothing brand.

Thunderpussy are also looking at a case a few years ago where Asian-American band The Slants won their right to trademark their name.

In the meantime, Thunderpussy released a cover of the Jefferson Airplane song “Somebody to Love”, a cover the band explains as a way to bridge divide and bring love to the forefront in a time of need;

“At a time when it feels like empathy and compassion are lost and the polarization of thoughts and ideas is paramount, maybe it’s time to stop looking for someone to blame and instead find someone to love.”

The band have also said that their desire to trademark the name, similar to why The Slants trademarked their name, was to take away the negativity of the word, and that their desire “has always been to shed a positive light on a word that has been used in a derogatory manner and seen as a joke or weak. Because it is exactly the opposite – the word pussy is powerful.

Thunderpussy of course aren’t the first rock n’ roll band to use the word. But I’m guessing Nashville Pussy couldn’t care less about trademarks.

Check out Thunderpussy’s cover of “Somebody to Love” below. The band released their self-titled debut album last year on Stardog / Republic Records.

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