The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has thwarted all-woman Seattle rock band Thunderpussy's attempt to trademark their name. The PTO has accused the moniker of being "scandalous," going so far as to use an Urban Dictionary definition of it as a derogatory term to reject Thunderpussy's case. In response, the rising major-label hard-rock group has started the #TrademarkThunderpussy campaign to build awareness for the cause. In addition, Thunderpussy plan to release a cover of Jefferson Airplane's 1967 psych-rock hit "Somebody to Love" around the time of the case.
The fate of Thunderpussy's battle to trademark their name rests on the decision of a new case, Iancu v. Brunetti, which the U.S. Supreme Court addresses on April 15, in which FUCT founder Erik Brunetti will defend his clothing brand.
In a joint statement, Thunderpussy's members wrote, “The real evil we are fighting here is not the definition cited by the USPTO. It’s the idea that pussies are weak. Every single living mammal on this planet came out of a vagina. That is true power. The act of creation in its purest form; the mystery of life. Just as the Slants were able to reclaim an ethnic slur as a badge of honor that favors the Asian minority, Thunderpussy is hoping to change the way one half of the world’s population is viewed. The half that made the other half. Women.”
In a 2014 feature defending the use of female-genital-oriented band names, "Know Your Vagina (Bands)," former Stranger writer Megan Seling wrote: "[T]hese great bands aren't trying to shock you with misogynistic songs about going on a 'Bitch Hunt' (fuck you very much, Vulvathrone), but rather remind the world that words like vagina, vulva, and clitoris aren't disgusting, censorable terms or fuel for some guy's bullshit gore-porn act."