Trademark Registration: Razorbacks Trademark the Hog Call

Razorbacks Trademark the Hog Call The US Patent and Trademark Office granted registration of the “sensory mark” for the Hog Call to the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas.

The Razorbacks (less formally known as the “Hogs”) are the sports teams at the University of Arkansas. They are reportedly the only major sports teams in the US to have a pork-related nickname.

The Hog Call chant is said to have originated in the 1920s and is a feature of Razorbacks football games.  The University claimed that the first “use in commerce” of the mark was December 31, 1929.

A proper Hog Call is described on the team website as being

“… composed of three “calls,” slowly raising one’s arms from the knees to above the head during the “Wooo.” Traditionalists prescribe an eight second “Wooo.” The fingers should be wiggled and the “Wooo” should build in volume and pitch as the arms rise.

Upon completion of the “Wooo,” both arms are brought straight down with fists clinched as if executing a chin-up while yelling, “Pig”. The right arm is extended up and out with the “Sooie.”

The “lyrics” to a Hog Call are:

Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!

Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!

Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!

Razorbacks!

The University submitted its trademark application in July of 2013, and had to overcome an objection by the trademark examiner that

[b]ecause crowds commonly chant encouraging words at sporting events, consumers of the sporting event would not recognize the chant as a source indicator for the event.

In response, the University submitted a specimen of the University’s former athletic director performing the mark:

The USPTO website lists a sampling of other well-known sound marks, including the NBC chimes, the Beneficial toot toot, and the Microsoft start-up melody.

If you have a sound you would like to register as a trademark, contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys.

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Leech Tishman’s Intellectual Property attorneys are dedicated to the protection and monetization of your ideas and innovations. Many of our registered patent attorneys have advanced degrees enabling them to truly understand the complex technical details of your idea.  Several bring engineering expertise, others molecular biology, manufacturing and business acumen to your trademark, copyright, patent prosecution and litigation and trade secret issues, both domestic and international.
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Photo Attribution: “Razorbacks fans call the hogs at Bud Walton Arena during a game vs Kentucky” by Brandonrush is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Video Attribution: “Wooooooooie. Pig. Sooie!” by Darren Heitner.

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