Insomniac Events, the juggernaut of festival promoters, recently filed an application to trademark the phrase ‘PLUR.’ The LA-based company filed on February 10th at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). According to the application, Insomniac plans to use the trademark for a new clothing line, ‘…namely, shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, pants, jackets and hats.‘
The application still has to be granted by the USPTO, and it’s possible it will be denied since cultural catchphrases and other common sayings like ‘PLUR’ cannot typically be trademarked on the grounds that consumers don’t associate them exclusively with a single brand or company. It’s also possible that if the trademark is granted, Insomniac would only receive limited rights to ‘PLUR.’
A well-known phrase among ravers both old and new, ‘PLUR’ aka ‘Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect‘ originated in the early ’90s thanks to New York City DJ Frankie Bones and it remains a moral creed in the community today. The phrase is often seen at any given rave, printed on clothing, totems, kandi, etc. It’s also become part of the ritual of trading kandi, a ritual that has now been part of the scene for decades.