iPhone

iFart, You Fart: Is ‘Pull My Finger’ Trademarkable?

iphone.gifWith cancer cured and AIDS no longer a threat, America can finally turns its attention toward that final frontier of western civilization: iPhone fart applications. For those of you unfamilar with fart applications, they are downloadable programs that make “hilarious” farting noises on command, thereby rendering real farts completely obsolete.

But where there’s gas, there’s a fire, and last Friday, the creators of iFart Mobile asked a Colorado federal court to rule that the phrase “pull my finger” was common parlance and therefore not protectible under trademark law.

By way of background, iFart previously published a press release announcing that Apple had at long last agreed to carry the “innovative” application. The release stated, somewhat disparagingly, that for many months, iPhone users were denied this critical application, as prudish Apple did not want apps asking people to “pull my finger.” However, when the creators of Pull My Finger, another iPhone fart application, got, er, wind of this press release, they threatened suit for trademark infringement.

There is perhaps no better use of the court’s time, or your time, for that matter, than reading iFart’s bag of hot air complaint. Highlights and the completely ludicrous document, after the jump.


If you’ve ever wondered exactly what “pull my finger” means, wonder no more:

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. 1 In other words, the phrase “pull my finger” is understood to be a description of the act of passing gas.

1 “Pull my finger,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pull_my_finger, last visited Feb. 10, 2009.

With iFart citing Wikipedia in its complaint, declaratory relief is all but certain.

Earlier: Morning Docket 02.16.09

iFart Complaint for Declaratory Judgment.pdf [PDF]

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