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ALS Association abandons its effort to trademark the 'ice bucket challenge'

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Group says it's no longer trying to own the phrase, despite fraud concerns

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Following backlash, the ALS Association says it's given up on its attempt to trademark both "ice bucket challenge," and the "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge." In a note on its Facebook page today, the ALS Association said it understood people's concerns over any one group owning those phrases, adding that it planned to withdraw both applications, which were filed earlier this week.

We've received several messages regarding the trademark applications we filed. We filed for these trademarks in good faith as a measure to protect the Ice Bucket Challenge from misuse after consulting with the families who initiated the challenge this summer. However, we understand the public's concern and are withdrawing the trademark applications. We appreciate the generosity and enthusiasm of everyone who has taken the challenge and donated to ALS charities.

Donations have topped $100 million

According to the group, the trademark effort was originally intended to keep would-be fraudsters from cashing in on the success of Ice Bucket Challenge. In a statement yesterday, the ALS Association said it made the decision only after seeing "many examples of unscrupulous profiteers trying to drive revenue to themselves, instead of the fight against ALS."

The challenge was created to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. It involves dumping a bucket of ice water over your head, or donating to the ALS association, though many people have chosen to do both. Earlier today, the ALS Association said donations have topped $100.9 million, up dramatically from the $2.8 million the group raised during the same time last year.