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P&G Wants To Trademark Internet Slang Like "LOL"

P&G headquarters in downtown Cincinnati.
P&G headquarters in downtown Cincinnati.

Procter & Gamble has filed to trademark such Internet speak as "LOL" and "WTF," saying the terms could be used to market its products. 

The Cincinnati Business Courier reports attorney Megan Hymore, who specializes in patent drafting and intellectual property strategies for brands, applied on behalf of the company to trademark "WTF" on April 16  and "LOL" on April 19. Similar requests were filed for "NBD" and "FML" (Don't know what any of this means? Here's an extensive explainer.)

A P&G spokesperson declined to provide specifics to the paper. CNBC says the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has asked P&G for clarifications, and P&G has until January to respond. 

What then, could the maker of such brands as Bounty, Charmin, Crest and Dawn use them for? 

"Perhaps P&G would use it as social media shorthand for 'Why That's Febreze,' " posits Barrett Brunsman. "But WTHK ('Who The Heck Knows')?"

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