FurryCon mark registration proceeds after initial denial
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office declined to register the New York state furry convention's name as a mark in August 2013, after identifying the terms 'furry' and 'con' as "merely descriptive":
“Furry” refers to “fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics.” - “Con” is a “common abbreviation for convention”.
At that time, a "furry" was also cited by the examiner as:
someone who is part of a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics
Various Wikipedia and WikiFur articles were used as references, as well as George Gurley's "Pleasures of the Fur" in Vanity Fair, the Anthrocon, Furry 4 Life, Furry Fandom Infocenter, Furry Connection North and Georgia Furs websites, and a con report on SoFurry.
The attempt to register the con's logo as a mark this February was accepted for publication, but the descriptive nature of the text was noted, and the applicant was required to add a disclaimer stating that:
No claim is made to the exclusive right to use “FURRY CON” apart from the mark as shown.
This treatment stands in stark contrast to the process of registering WikiFur's own service mark in 2008, during which the USPTO required an amendment to make the application cover "anthropomorphic animals" on the basis that "furry fandom" had no established meaning.
In an interesting coincidence, Further Confusion organizers Anthropomorphic Arts and Education held a competition to find a new logo featuring their "FurCon" service mark just weeks before the initial FurryCon application in May 2013.