Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Noting the "relatively sparse evidence of record," the TTAB ruled in National Ass'n of Realtors v. Titan Int'l, Inc., Opposition No. 91125778 (Sept. 28, 2004) [not citable], that the mark REALTOR for tires is not likely to cause confusion with the National Association of Realtor's registered marks REALTOR, REALTOR.COM, and REALTOR VIP for various real estate-related services.
NAR pointed out that its REALTOR VIP member benefits program provides a $500 cash allowance toward the purchase of certain automobiles, and further that its "REALTOR Family marks" are used in connection with other consumer products and services unrelated to real estate, such as museum memberships and flowers. Thus Opposer argued that its members are
"likely to see a direct parallel between applicant's use of the REALTOR mark on tires and Opposer's allowing its REALTOR Family of marks to be used to identify other products or services of third parties whom Opposer is recommending to its members."
The Board, however, pointed out that what the NAR provides to its members is the discount, not the actual goods or services. The fact that "applicant's mark may call to mind opposer's REALTOR mark is not dispositive of the likelihood of confusion claim herein."

NRA contended that its REALTOR mark is famous, but its proof of fame fell short; in any case, the Board found no evidence that such fame would extend to the REALTOR VIP discount program.
"Simply put, opposer has not shown that it has become known for the sale of any consumer products like tires, or that its REALTOR mark has become identified with such goods. * * * To hold otherwise would result in giving opposer a right in gross which is contrary to principles of trademark law and to Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act."


Post a Comment

<< Home