A lot of attorneys engage in chest pounding — figuratively, at least — but one has made it official with a filing in front of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Competitors in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu matches began calling Lubbock solo — and black belt — Davis W. Smith (pictured) “The Gorilla,” then his staff picked up on the nickname. The former Marine knew a good thing when he saw it. He says he started using the gorilla in advertising for his firm as early as 2005 or 2006. He hasn’t done it halfway. His TV commercials feature a giant, roaring, hairy animation that shatters a concrete block labeled “insurance.” Print and television advertising for Smith’s personal-injury practice advise anyone who has been injured to “get the gorilla.” He has a gorilla figure on the roof of his office, plus a 4,000-pound concrete gorilla statue in front of his office. His website has photos of clients, holding up checks with their winnings, in front of it. And, according to the website for USPTO, Smith applied for registration of the service mark “Injured? Get the Gorilla” on March 23, 2011, and the USPTO issued a notice of allowance for the mark on Jan. 10. Smith says using a mark or symbol helps identify his firm. And the gorilla statues outside Smith’s law office make it easy for people to find his office. “As you approach my office, no matter what angle you’re at, you can see a gorilla,” Smith says. He buys box loads of stuffed gorillas for clients’ children. Even the adults are requesting the stuffed gorillas, he says. “I think the whole gorilla thing makes the practice of law a lot more fun,” Smith says.
-- Mary Alice Robbins