California - On June 12, Bryce Harper, a right fielder for the Washington Nationals, uttered the instantly popular "That's A Clown Question, Bro" catchphrase after a game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Harper, who happens to be 19 years old and Mormon, was asked after the game if he would enjoy a beer. With a great deal of annoyance, the Nevada native answered, "That's a clown question, Bro!" In all fairness, the reporter was Canadian and the drinking age in his hometown is only 18. However, the viral buzz instantly caught on, the phrase started popping up everywhere and Harper's camp quickly filed for the phrase with the USPTO on June 13th.
The filing states that the phrase is being registered for use with t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, pants, shorts, hats, visors, gloves and shoes. Under Armour, a well-known sports clothing company, is set to begin manufacturing and selling t-shirts bearing the phrase immediately. Additional items will be produced if Harper's management determines that they will sell well. However, given the popularity of Harper and the viral phenomenon, it is likely that the t-shirts and any additional memorabilia bearing the now popular statement will quickly sell out.
Beer was not listed in the trademark application and Denver Beer Company is taking advantage of that fact by beginning sales of a beer named after the phrase. The beer, appropriately named Clown Question Bro Canadian Lager, is set to be on tap in time for the Colorado Rockies series against the Washington Nationals this week and is only being offered in Denver. Priced at five dollars for a 16-ounce draft beer, the brewery claims that the beer will not be offered long term. The Denver base beer company does not anticipate any issues with Harper management regarding the phrase, but they have a back up plan just in case. The beer name will quickly be changed to Clown Question Brau if Harper insists that the beer company stop using the registered phrase.