University of Arkansas Gets Sound Trademark on Its Famous Hog Call

By Joseph Mandour on August 7, 2014

pigOrange County – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently granted the trademark for the sounds contained in the University of Arkansas’s “Hog Call.” The chant — “Woooooooo, Pig! Sooie! Woooooooo, Pig! Sooie! Woooooooo, Pig! Sooie! Razorbacks!” – now constitute a registered trademark. The school filed for this trademark about a year ago and as part of its application, the university also turned in a video of Razorbacks legend Frank Broyles leading fans in what has become known as the Hog Call. The Hog Call falls under the sensory trademark category, which means that it is a sound rather than a word, image, or symbol. The Application was filed in Class 041 for “Providing collegiate athletic and sporting events”.

The University of Arkansas already owns a federal trademark registration for “Woo Pig Sooie!”. This new sound trademark registration cannot be used for commercial purposes without the University of Arkansas’s permission or license. However, it does not pertain to non-commercial usage such as fans yelling the chant at games or anywhere else. Such use would be considered to be fair use so long as the use was not made to designate the source of goods and the use was not commercial in nature. The sound trademark can be heard here: http://tsdr.uspto.gov/documentviewer?caseId=sn86021236&docId=MRK20130726170010#docIndex=15&page=1

This is the first collegiate cheer to be registered as a trademark. The university said in a statement that it sought to trademark this cheer in order to stop those seeking to exploit it commercially. University officials say their only concern is to stop those seeking to exploit the trademark commercially. The Hog Call has been synonymous with the University of Arkansas since the 1920s.

Other examples of registered sound trademarks include NBC’s chimes, the Tivo popping noises when using the remote control, the Intel chimes, the ESPN nah nah nah, nah nah nah, the Yahoo! yodel, and the duck quaking “Aflac”, all of which can be heard here: http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/soundmarks/

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