Citing concerns that profiteers are using the ice-bucket challenge for personal gain, the ALS Association has applied to trademark the phrase, writes The Washington Post. The disease charity, which has raised more than $94-million in the past month from the viral phenomenon, contends it owns the term "ice-bucket challenge" for giving purposes.
Erik Pelton, a trademark lawyer who drew attention to the application on his blog, told the Post he considered the bid "shameful," adding, "I hope that they would never consider ... preventing some other charity from using the phrase." Other organizations with causes unrelated to nerve disorders like ALS have adopted the challenge to boost fundraisng.
The association did not originate the challenge, which went viral on social media in late July after it became linked with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The charity said it "secured the blessing of the families who initiated the challenge" before filing paperwork with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and that it took the step "after seeing many examples of unscrupulous profiteers trying to drive revenue to themselves, instead of the fight against ALS."