It was a catchy name…until they tried to file the trademark for it. Wu-Tang Clan has opposed the trademark for a dog walking service with the name Woof-Tang Clan claiming that the mark is confusing similar. And this looks like a ruff fight for the dog walker.

Since December 2016, a dog walking service aptly named Woof-Tang Clan, LLC has been using the mark, WOOF-TANG CLAN, in association with its services namely dog walking, dog sitting and in the future, dog hiking. The Brooklyn-based company’s website is a bit on the simple side but you can see the use of the mark on the site. Besides its services, the company is also distributing very pricey clothing bearing the WOOF-TANG CLAN trademark.

Image of Woof-Tang Clan

$50 t-shirt being sold on the Woof-Tang Clan website

Robert Diggs, a/k/a RZA, is the self-claimed leader of the Wu-Tang Clan whose name is derived from the slang for the classiest borough of New York and the former home of yours truly, Staten Island. Since 1993, the band has used the name and owns several trademark registrations for the same. Diggs, personally, put in an opposition to the WOOF-TANG CLAN trademark claiming the dog walkers are trying to falsely claim an association with the Wu-Tang Clan when there is not one.

Alright before people scream “fair use”, “parody”, “satire”, or “you suck, Michael”, they are all not reasons to justify a trademark registration. Parody and fair use are only defenses to claims of trademark infringement; they are not justifications to get a trademark registration through. So parody can be used as a shield but not as a sword.

No way I see this mark getting through and surprised the trademark examiner even let it get this far. By trying to get the questionable trademark registration through, the company has now put itself of the radar or RZA and can also be sued for trademark infringement. D’oh.