The Norwegian manufacturers of Comfyballs underwear said the U.S. patent office told them the brand name is too "vulgar" to trademark.
Company founder Anders Selvig said officials filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office earlier this year with an aim toward bringing the products to the North American market, but the office's reply said the name was too "vulgar" to trademark.
"The mark does not create a double entendre or other idiomatic expression... When used in this way, the word 'balls' has an offensive meaning," the office said in its reply to Comfyballs.
The ruling came after lobbying against the brand by One Million Moms, a wing of the American Family Association aimed at fighting "indecency."
Ben & Jerry's Saturday Night Live-inspired ice cream flavor "Schweddy Balls" was similarly denied a trademark by the patent office after protests from the group.