Trying to Trademark a Meme? OK Boomer

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First came the “OK Boomer” memes on social media. Then came the T-shirts, phone cases and other merchandise emblazoned with the viral retort. Now, get ready for an all-out war at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and a possible television series using the phrase.

On Nov. 11, Fox Media filed a trademark application for a TV show called “OK Boomer,” one among a handful of applicants hoping to secure rights to the phrase hurled by Generation Z and millennials to older people who don’t understand their positions on various issues and anyone issuing condescending remarks. (This month, Chloe Swarbrick, a 25-year-old New Zealand lawmaker, even used it in Parliament to respond to a heckler during a debate on a zero carbon bill.)

At least five current trademark applications are pending for the phrase, according to the federal office’s online database. Fox Media said in its application that it wanted to use it for an “ongoing television series featuring reality competition, comedy and game shows.” A spokeswoman for Fox Media, Alex Gillespie, said on Tuesday that the company had no comment about the filing. A spokeswoman for the federal patent office, Julianne Metzger, said on Tuesday that the office “does not comment on trademark applications.”

Separate applications filed on Oct. 31 (by a man named Kevin Yen) and Nov. 14 (by the jewelry company Rust Belt Creations) described intentions to use the phrase on clothing items. Another application, filed on Nov. 12 (also by Rust Belt Creations), mentioned plans to sell decals and stickers. And an application filed on Nov. 13 (by William Grundfest, a TV producer known for “Mad About You”) referred to plans to use “OK Boomer” for live stage performances and lectures.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr. Grundfest said he filed for the trademark