- Jim Edwards/Business Insider
A London coffee shop named “Fuckoffee,” which was ordered by lawyers to remove its “offensive” signage earlier this week, has tweeted a photo of a hilarious letter it says it received from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO,) refusing an application to trademark its risqué brand name.
The letter, dated December 4, 2014, states that the trademark did not meet the requirements for registration and that the IPO had “absolute grounds for refusal.”
The owners of the coffee shop say they will now attempt to resubmit an application for a “f*ckoffee” trademark instead.
Fuckoffee not ok
F*ckoffee ok pic.twitter.com/4vhFVxRlp6
— Fuckoffee (@FUCK0FFEE) October 28, 2015
Here’s the IPO’s reasoning, in an explanation that contains the most instances of the word “f—” we have probably ever seen in a letter from a government department:
The application is not acceptable as there is an objection under Section 3 (3) (a) of the Act. This is because the mark consists of the word “f—” and “coffee” conjoined, with the letter “c” of the second word “coffee” omitted, being a sign that would be offensive to a significant proportion of the UK public.
The mark contains the highlight offensive word “fuck” prominently positioned at the beginning of the mark. Although the letter “c” from the word “coffee” is missing and the two words are conjoined, the highly offensive word “f—” remains very obvious in the mark.
The mark also sounds phonetically identical to “f— coffee” as there is no other way of breaking up or pronouncing the conjoined words “F—offee” meaning the consumer would immediately see the reference to the highly offensive word “f—.”
Business Insider has contacted the IPO to verify the authenticity of the letter and with a request for further comment.
The case details for the trademark application confirm an application was received in November 2014 and it was “totally refused” in March 2015.
The owners of the Bermondsey Street-based coffee shop received a letter earlier this month from lawyers acting on behalf of the building’s landlord saying legal action would be taken if they did not remove the sign on the grounds of “trespass.”
No humour please, we’re British. pic.twitter.com/P1U9VhAEho
— Fuckoffee (@FUCK0FFEE) October 21, 2015
The owners responded by erecting a new, censored sign.
A number of Twitter users have united in support of the cafe. One even asked London Mayor Boris Johnson if the business should change his name. He responded by saying he is a “free marketeer.”