Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"DOCSS" And "DOCSSITE" For Document Management Software Not Confusingly Similar, Says TTAB

Despite the near identity of the involved computer software, the Board reversed a Section 2(d) refusal to register the mark DOCSS in the stylized form shown below, finding it not likely to cause confusion with the registered mark DOCSSITE. In re Adept Data Technologies, Inc., Serial No. 78110053 (June 21, 2005) [not citable].

The Examining Attorney contended that the goods are legally identical, that the marks are confusingly similar because they both combine the word "doc" with a "double-S," and that any doubt should be resolved in favor of the prior registrant.

Applicant Adept relied on a computer dictionary definition of "docs" as short for "documents," numerous third-party registrations for marks containing the designation "doc" or "docs," Google results, and website printouts. Adept also submitted a declaration of its president attesting to the care with which its goods are purchased.

Specimen of use

The third-party registrations and dictionary evidence convinced the Board that the term "doc" or "docs" is "quite weak" when used in connection with document management software. The Board recognized that the two marks at issue were "the only marks of record which employ a 'double-S' feature in connection with 'doc,'" but it found that "this point of similarity is an insufficient basis to support a conclusion that confusion is likely." As to the connotations of the marks, the Board found that the cited mark "connotes a 'documents site,'" but applicant's mark does not. And it found that purchasers "are not likely to purchase these goods on impulse but instead may reflect on their decision [sic] to purchase."

The Board concluded that "applicant's mark and registrant's mark are simply too dissimilar to support a likelihood of confusion finding."

TTABlog aside:
Okay, so this isn't the most scintillating decision the Board has ever issued. The TTABlogger doesn't promise excitement every day. At least not on the blog.

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2005. All Rights Reserved.


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