Ohio Entrepreneur Seeks Trademark For The Departed Harambe, The Internet's Most Beloved Gorilla

An Ohio entrepreneur has filed an application to trademark the name of Harambe, the gorilla who was shot to death after a three-year-old boy fell into the animal’s enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo.

In a June 28 United States Patent and Trademark Office filing, Maxx Blank, 27, seeks to secure the trademark so he can use the late gorilla’s name on a variety of clothing items, including hats, t-shirts, sports bras, underwear, sweat pants, and skirts.

Reached on his cell phone today, Blank said that, “I don’t want to discuss it publicly” when asked about his plans for the Harambe trademark. Blank’s $275 application, made in the name of the Aryeh Group, LLC, lists the firm’s address as Blank's home in Westerville, a Columbus suburb.

Blank, a married father of two children, filed the trademark application a month after Harambe was shot to death inside the Gorilla World enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo. 

Harambe, a 17-year-old lowland gorilla, was killed after a three-year-old boy fell into a moat inside the zoo habitat. Fearing that the animal could harm the child, a zoo worker killed Harambe with a single gunshot. In death, as Vox noted today, the gorilla “has become a superhero, a mega-meme, the internet’s gorilla.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Blank (seen at left) is an experienced marketer with a “depth of experience in the planning, custom craftsmanship, and implementation of digital experiences for beloved global brands, mission-driven nonprofits and thought leading institutions.”