By Amy Feldman

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The ALS Foundation found its toughest challenge wasn’t the ice after all.

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Like a splash of cold water to the face, the ALS Foundation has had its enthusiasm dampened.

Its ice bucket challenge broke all of its fundraising records, bringing in a hundred million dollars in donations for the research and cure of ALS. In August, the Foundation had filed an application to trademark the phrases ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and just plain old Ice Bucket Challenge but faced some big hurdles to do that.

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First of all, generic phrases can’t be protected by trademark. So proving that the ice bucket challenge is distinctive to ALS and not just a generic phrase would have been a huge hurdle for the foundation to overcome. Additionally, they would have had to show that they own the phrase, which would have been hard to do given the numerous times people have doused themselves in ice water or Gatorade to support or cheer on a victory or cause.

And, even if the trademark had been granted, that would mean it would have to sue others who were trying to use the phrase ice bucket challenge in order to maintain its rights.

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Ultimately, the ALS Foundation decided this month to withdraw its registration and will focus on the ice bucket challenge and the challenge of curing the disease rather than the legal challenge.