Sometimes even we do not understand trademarks. Each day hundreds of new trademarks are registered. Often to secure business, products or services. But why should someone try to monopolise ebola?
Ebola is spreading like wildfire in a large number of African countries. Thousands have died already in the past few months form this terrible and lethal disease. Some fear ebola might even jump over to Europe.
It may be useful to have a map, someone must have thought. An outbreak map, to exactly see where ebola has spread, and potentially is spreading. Yes, an EBOLA OUTBREAK MAP. And while we’re at it: let’s register it, EBOLA OUTBREAK MAP®. So that no one can call its ebola outbreak map “EBOLA OUTBREAK MAP”.
In the beginning of October, someone applied to a trademark of “Ebola Outbreak Map” in the United States. Why? We don’t know.
It may very well be a lost cause, since it seems “Ebola Outbreak Map” is rather descriptive for, well… an ebola outbreak map. So, it is very likely that the United States Patent and Trademark Office will refuse the mark, since descriptive name cannot be monopolised as a trademark. In the end, this thing will probably be nipped in the bud.