Nadya Suleman, also known as the “Octomom” for her amazing ability to give birth to eight offspring at once (or at least in rapid succession), has applied to trademark that nickname, according to reports on April 15.
If she ever considered trademarking “America’s Sweetheart,” that time has passed. “The octuplets’ birth on Jan 26 was heralded as a medical miracle,” said the AP report, “but the public’s fascination with Suleman quickly soured as details of her life emerged.” It turned out that Suleman, who is unemployed, already had six other children at home, all of whom were also conceived through in vitro fertilization, and all of whom, to the best of my knowledge, are also unemployed. Suleman has seemed to expect public support to sustain her brood, but maybe that has not been going so well.
On April 10, Suleman filed two applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Nos. 77711852 and 77711827), seeking to trademark the term “OctoMom” and saying she planned to use it on clothing, diapers, and most horrible of all, a television program. (That application states that the programs would be in the field of “varity,” which might be intended as “variety” or “verity,” but is wrong either way.) Suleman has denied that she is planning a “reality show,” preferring instead to describe it as a series of TV “documentaries.”
Suleman’s attorney, Jeff Czech, said he and his client had been approached by people with Octomom-label ideas, resulting in the application. “She doesn’t particularly care for the name,” he said, “but she thinks it’s a good idea to protect it. She has a sense of humor about it.”
She may need that alleged sense of humor, since she is not the only one trying to trademark that name, nor is she even the first to apply for it. A Texas company, “Super Happy Fun Fun, Inc.” filed an application for the name about a month ago (No. 77689864) saying that the company planned to use it in connection with a video game it calls “Fertile Myrtle.” (On the website, it’s described as “Fertile Myrtle (formerly Octomom).)” The game, which is described as “hilarious” and “amusing” but sounds mostly horrible, involves pressing on Fertile Myrtle’s belly to shoot “another adorable bundle of joy” into the arms of “Wacky Grandma.” Each baby earns welfare money, and timing the births so that they occur when paparazzi are in the room earns a cash bonus. The game appears to be intended for the iPhone but, according to CNN, Apple “has been hesitant to approve the game” for iTunes.
Since Suleman actually has 14 children, she should really be called the “Tetradecamom,” but I guess that is not quite as catchy.