Doomscrolling is that thing where you spend way too much time flipping through Twitter or Instagram reading bad news. And apparently, a metal guitarist in Dallas, Texas thought it would be the perfect name for a new band. But after attempting to trademark the band name, Doom devs Id Software began a legal opposition to the name which could go on until 2023.
As reported by Wired, guitarist, and Amazon employee Dustin Mitchell is potentially facing a legal battle with Id Software over the word “Doomscroll” and his desire to use it as the name of a new “progressive thrash metal band.” He was inspired to use doomscroll as his band name after reading an article about a QAnon-obsessed woman who destroyed a rack of face masks located at her local Target. She would later explain what led to the outburst, saying “All I did was doomscroll.” Mitchell liked the sound of the word and decided it would make a great band name.
Mitchell, who claims to not be very online and who doesn’t doomscroll himself, decided in February to trademark the band name with the US Patent and Trademark Office. A few months later, it was approved and after 30 days he was informed his trademark would be legally set.
Then on October 13, on the very last day of the 30 day period, he got an email from a lawyer who represented Id Software. The lawyer asked Mitchell to extend the 30-day USPTO trademark deadline in order to avoid any legal action. Mitchell felt weird after getting the email, telling Wired that he was a big fan of the old Doom games as a kid and now he was facing off against the devs over his band name. “They’re trying to take something away from me that is completely unrelated to them,” said Mitchell.
A trademark lawyer told Wired that while it might seem odd, Mitchell most likely had every right to trademark the word doomscroll because within the context of music it “is not generic or descriptive of music, musical performances, or musical services.” But Id’s lawyers are most likely “scooting” in to try to protect the brand name and franchise from any confusion. According to the Wired report, Id has similarly stepped in to stop other folks from trademarking or registering brand names that use the word doom, including a rock metal event named the “Maryland Doom Fest” and a podcast titled “Garden of Doom.”
For now, the future of Doomscroll (The band) is up to lawyers at Id Software. In October, Mitchell received a lengthy trial schedule that goes all the way until 2023. So this most likely won’t be settled anytime soon, unless the guitarist gives up the fight.