Have you read the flap about Denise Whiting, owner of Café Hon in Baltimore, trademarking the word "hon?" Apparently she believes this gives her rights to not only her own logo, the word "hon" in an oval, a blatant rip-off of the UN identification stickers found on European cars starting in 1969, but also to the word itself. She has bragged that she allowed the MTA to use the word in (the ridiculous, over-the-top, and tacky) advertising for their new fare system, gratis. But that when a non-profit wanted to use it, she charged them $25. A non-profit!
Personally, I think it's all quite ridiculous that a person can trademark a word that has been part of the vernacular for generations before she ever came to this town. And only to make a buck.
But if she can do that, why can't I trademark the words "the" or "a?" Talk about profits!
Read more about it here. And check out this terrific review of Cafe Hon on Yelp.
Bon Appetit, Hon, is going to be asked to fork over usage fees?