The mission of the new military branch Space Force is to "organize, train, and equip space forces in order to protect U.S. and allied interests in space," but evidently, securing the trademark for "Space Force" is not on the to-do list.
While the idea of an independent service for U.S. military space operations has been under consideration since 2000, Donald Trump revived the idea in a March 2018 speech, calling outer space "a war-fighting domain just like the land, air and sea." In Dec. 2019, the United States Space Force was founded as an independent service of U.S. Armed Forces. However, the sixth and youngest branch is probably not why you've been hearing the term "Space Force" a lot lately.
Netflix's comedy series Space Force, starring Steve Carell and created by Carell and Greg Daniels, premiered on the streaming platform in May. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Trump's administration has proven indolent when it comes to securing the "Space Force" name. Considering how Trump totes his business prowess as nothing less than exceptional, you'd think he would have taken the time to get the proper paperwork filed. Apparently, Netflix has been submitting applications for "Space Force" around the world as early as Jan. 2019, securing the trademark in Europe, Australia, Mexico, and elsewhere.
While this isn't necessarily a problem, it's still pretty wild to see what's at work behind the scenes. "At this time, we are not aware of any trademark conflicts with the fictional program Space Force produced by Netflix," said an Air Force spokesperson. "We wish Netflix and the show's producers the best in their creative depiction of our nation's newest branch of the military."
It's a good thing trademark law allows for parodies—now we just have to figure out which is which!