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Frenzy to lock down ‘social distancing’ trademark soars amid coronavirus pandemic

social distancing coronavirus trademark shirt
Trademark applications for coronavirus-related themes like “social distancing” have surged. (Amazon screenshot)

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Social distancing has become a dubious trend as the coronavirus pandemic roils the nation. Interestingly, trademark applications for the term have spiked as people try to cash in on the viral outbreak.

A number of small businesses have filed trademark applications for the term “social distancing,” according to the website of United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Many of the applications were made by entrepreneurs hoping to sell T-shirts, hats, stickers, and other coronavirus-themed paraphernalia.

social distancing trademark applications
(Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office)

A separate search for “coronavirus” yields a much larger applicant pool of people vying to trademark that term.

Among them are logos for apparel declaring that “I Survived the Coronavirus of 2020” and “Coronavirus: Made in China.”

coronavirus trademark applications
(Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office)

TMZ noted: “A couple notable names in the hunt for a trademark include the creators of the popular game, What Do You Meme? — which unsurprisingly wants the rights to make “Social Distancing: The Game” — and Maxx Sports and Entertainment … which reps a bunch of famous athletes and brands.”

This phenomenon of “disaster capitalism” related to COVID-19 began emerging in February, when coronavirus merchandise began popping up on Amazon, Zazzle and Etsy.  The Verge reported:

“The existence of these shirts isn’t surprising. Whenever there’s an event, celebrity death, or meme, shirt shops spin up things to sell. It’s what they do.

On a small scale, these coronavirus shirts represent disaster capitalism, which is when powerful entities and corporations benefit from disaster. Amazon had to step in to remind sellers not to mark up prices on face masks, and like those vendors, shirt makers see an opportunity for profit.”

Whether you find “disaster capitalism” cute or offensive, it isn’t surprising that people are finding creative ways to navigate their forced social distancing amid the mass shutdowns of businesses and schools.

The coronavirus pandemic even inspired a bizarre new beauty trend: COVID 19-inspired manicures. The hashtag “CoronavirusNails” became trendy when bored self-quarantined women posted videos and photos of their coronavirus-inspired nails.

Some women transformed their nails into little people wearing face masks, while others created manicures comprised of tiny replicas of Lysol disinfect spray.


The economic, social, and emotional ramifications of a national shutdown of businesses will have an incalculable impact on the United States.

Sadly, there has reportedly been a spike in instances of child abuse (from frustrated parents who are forced to stay cooped-up inside their homes with their kids), an increase in suicides from people who have been laid off due to the mass shutdowns, and a surge in individuals suffering from depression.

During this painful period, many in the anti-Trump media have gleefully hyped the coronavirus tragedy so they can blame the President.


So far, the public appears to be tuning out the media’s constant stream of negativity. New polls by Gallup and Harris show that more than 60% of American voters approve of the job President Trump is doing to navigate the country through the coronavirus.

Ex-Hillary aide fired from hospital over coronavirus death wish for Trump supporters

Samantha Chang


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