In the age of streaming, musicians are limited in how they can capitalize on their work. Selling t-shirts and other branded merchandise is one way, but without a federally-recognized trademark, it’s even more difficult to crack down on knockoffs that other sellers may offer at a cheaper price.

When Seattle rock band Thunderpussy applied for their trademark, they were denied based on the grounds that their name was “scandalous” and “immoral.” The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cited a definition of “thunderpussy” from Urban Dictionary, a website that anyone with internet access can edit, in its response to argue that the vulgarity of the term “pussy” prohibited the band from being able to claim ownership of their name.

And yet, a simple search of the USPTO database shows dozens of active trademarks that include the word “pussy,” as well as several that include the words “vagina,” “coochie,” “dick” Additionally, two separate appeals from applicants challenging the same statue that the USPTO relied on in its Thunderpussy ruling have gone all the way to the Supreme Court. Both were ultimately granted their trademarks.

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Thunderpussy sat down with Jezebel to discuss their trademark fight. Watch the video above to hear what they had to say about the process, its impact on their business, and whether or not anyone can own the word “pussy.”

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