In this day and age, it’s hard not to doomscroll, or continuously scan through bad news online even though it makes you feel like the poop emoji. I personally like the quirky word, though not the action itself. A Dallas-based metal guitarist thought “doomscroll” was a cool word, too. Specifically, he thought it was “a killer name for a band.”
As told by Wired, the guitarist, in early 2021 Dustin Mitchell proceeded to file a trademark request with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for “doomscroll,” which he envisioned would be the name of his new “progressive thrash metal band.” Nonetheless, his music aspirations took an unexpected turn in recent months when he was contacted by a lawyer representing Id software, the owner of the videogame Doom.
The lawyer—which contacted him on Oct. 13, the last day any member of the public could oppose his trademark application—asked Mitchell to extend the deadline to officially register Id Software’s opposition. During that time, the lawyers said both parties could try reach an agreement before resorting to legal action.
According to Wired, although Mitchell was a Doom fan and had played the games as a kid, he didn’t like being contacted by the game’s lawyers.
“[T]hey’re trying to take something away from me that is completely unrelated to them,” the guitarist told the outlet.
Lawyers who spoke to the outlet said companies like Id Software are known for object to trademark applications like Mitchell’s because they don’t want others to use the term in a way “that would cause confusion” around their product. This also isn’t the first time Id Software has fought to protect what it believes to be infringements on its propriety, and probably won’t be the last. In fact, Wired reports that the company has opposed trademarks to the terms “ODoom” and “Doomlings” in the past month.
We may not know whether Id Software succeeds in keeping “doomscroll” from becoming Mitchell’s property for a while. The company’s opposition to the trademark is currently being handled by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and the trial schedule stretches well into 2023.
To be honest, metal music isn’t exactly my cup of tea, so I probably wouldn’t listen to a band called “doomscroll” anyway (I see enough doom in the world and don’t want to voluntarily listen to more, but to each their own, of course). I don’t associate “doomscroll” to the Doom game at all, but I’m not a trademark expert, and it’s not my call.
I do hope this fight with Id Software doesn’t affect Mitchell’s desire to form a band and make music, which is what he wanted to do when he applied for the trademark. If at any point he feels that it is affecting him, the fight’s probably not worth it.
You can read Wired’s stellar story about Mitchell in full here.