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Category: Descriptive marks


ZERO-ing in on the Right Legal Test for Genericness
June 27, 2018
Post by Blog Staff
In Royal Crown Co. v. The Coca-Cola Co., the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) vacated a decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) dismissing Royal Crown’s opposition to the registration of Coca-Cola’s trademarks for soft drinks and sports drinks with the term ZERO. The CAFC concluded that the TTAB used the wrong legal test to determine whether ZERO is generic, o.......
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What's In A Name?
August 02, 2017
Post by Blog Staff
Theresa Earnhardt, widow to professional race car driver Dale Earnhardt and step-mother to Kerry Earnhardt, appealed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s decision that her stepson’s mark, EARNHARDT COLLECTION, was notas a whole primarily a surname. Theresa Earnhardt is the owner of trademark registrations and common law rights in the use of the mark DALE EARNHARDT. Kerry Earnhardt, as CEO of Kerry Earn.......
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Fourth Circuit: OBX geographically descriptive with no secondary meaning; noninfringement affirmed
March 30, 2009
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last month, the Fourth Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment to the defendant in a trademark case. The mark at issue was OBX, which was an acronym coined to be short for the Outer Banks area of North Carolina. The plaintiff coined the acronym and sold various products bearing the acronym. Over time, the public began using the acronym as shorthand for the geographic re.......
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Third Circuit: Evidence of secondary meaning must correspond to the asserted mark
August 08, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Wednesday, the Third Circuit affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment in a trademark case, finding the asserted mark not protectible as a matter of law.The district court granted summary judgment that the mark was generic. On appeal, the Third Circuit held there was a genuine issue of fact as to genericness, but that even if it the mark was descriptive, there was no genuine issue a.......
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First Circuit: District court's determination that "duck tour" is nongeneric doesn't hold water
June 24, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a lengthy decision last week, the First Circuit held a district court erred in finding the term "duck tour" nongeneric in the context of sightseeing tours on amphibious vehicles. The district court, based largely on the nongenericness of this aspect of the parties' marks, found the plaintiff was likely to succeed in its infringement claims, and entered a preliminary injunction. The defendant ap.......
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Tenth Circuit: 1-800-SKI-VAIL does not infringe VAIL service mark
February 12, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Tenth Circuit affirmed a district court's ruling in a trademark case in favor of the defendant, finding the defendant's use of the vanity telephone number "1-800-SKI-VAIL" for marketing services relating to the ski industry was not likely to be confused with the Plaintiff's service mark registration for "VAIL" encompassing the gamut of commercial recrea.......
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Sixth Circuit: No likelihood of confusion between competing wines using same geographic term
September 25, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court ruling that use of the mark "Chateau de Leelanau Vineyard and Winery" did not create a likelihood of confusion among consumers with the plaintiff's "Leelanau Cellars" federally-registered mark. "Leelanau" in both marks is a reference to a peninsula in Michigan where the wine is produced. While the district cou.......
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"Aspirina" descriptive of analgesic goods; denial of registration affirmed
May 24, 2007
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision today, the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision by the TTAB that the term "ASPIRINA" is descriptive of analgesics, and therefore not subject to trademark protection in the United States absent a showing of secondary meaning. While the evidence of record was conflicting as to whether ASPIRINA was descriptive, given the deferential standard of review, the panel majority affirmed the decisio.......
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The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.

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