(One of the definitions of “bitch” in the Compact OED. Trademark examiners often consult dictionaries, and these days, Google, if they suspect that a trademark is descriptive.)
The most recent Cast On podcast by Brenda Dayne (she talked about Rogue in an earlier podcast and has a smooth radio voice… how can I not admire her?) features the knitting trademark story of 2005-6.
(Of course, there was another knitting trademark story competing for attention last year that I’m not finished writing about either, but it has to come in second to any story involving words that they’re still afraid to speak in Madoc, Ontario. Quinte, you will never be anything but a rest stop on the 401 until you embrace the future. It’s full of cussin’.)
Brenda recounts the factual basis for the controversy, mostly accurate. (The month in which CafePress started shutting down stitch and bitch group shops may have been earlier, and if someone had called up Anne Macdonald to get her impressions on the whole issue, it’s news to me; but how else can Brenda say that Macdonald was “surprised” by SFSE’s claim as the originator of the phrase “stitch and bitch”?)
Brenda notes that she personally doesn’t care who attains or retains what rights to what registered trademarks (a position shared by others), but what ticks her off is the “name-calling of a woman who has done so much for the knitting community” — referencing Gregory Garvin’s letter calling Deb Stoller “Ms. Stole-it” and suggesting that she gives feminists a bad name. Brenda goes on to say that this was done by a “petty little marketing man with a tenuous grasp of the English language” with “no real idea of who his customers are and, quite possibly, the smallest penis in the world.”
She’s clever with the irony, she is. She also probably figures that she’s out of the legal reach of SFSE.