No. 31

Have You Done an Ice Bucket Challenge?

Following the No Make-up Selfies for Cancer Research, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is the latest charity fundraising activity to go viral.

For those who were unlucky enough to be nominated, the challenge was to pour a bucket of ice cold water over your head and then nominate someone else. The important part, which reports today suggest has been forgotten by the majority of participants, is to donate to ALS or other charity.

With the massive success of this campaign, The ALS Association (ALSA) filed trade mark applications for the Ice Bucket Challenge. Citing “charitable fundraising” as their goods and services, the applications were filed at the USPTO on 22 August. However, doubts were raised about the exclusivity to ALS since many have undertaken the challenge to raise funds for charities other than ALSA. Further, if ALSA successfully registers the phrase, other charities would not be able to use the term and thus may miss out on much-needed funds.

ALSA have since withdrawn their trade mark applications. An estimated $100 million has been raised as a result of the challenges so it’s not all bad news!