Friday, December 09, 2005

"HYPNOSTEALTH" Applicant Moves to Dismiss Leo Stoller Opposition for Lack of Standing

The shock waves from the recent decision by the Chicago federal court in the Pure Fishing case (discussed here at the TTABlog) are beginning to reach the TTAB. Randy L. Marcus of Salem, Oregon, who is seeking to register the mark HYPNOSTEALTH for "instruction in the field of hypnosis," has of course been opposed by frequent TTAB litigant Leo Stoller. Mr. Stoller has filed an opposition based on Central Mfg. Co.'s alleged ownership of the mark STEALTH for a potpourri of goods and services. Applicant Marcus, appearing pro se, has now moved to dismiss on the ground that Central Mfg. Co. does not exist, that it therefore lacks standing and capacity to oppose, and that the opposition "was filed under a false name." Central Mfg. Co. v. Marcus, Opposition No. 91165221.


In Pure Fishing, the district court ruled that Stoller "repeatedly violated the Federal Rules of Evidence" and also violated Rule 11(b) "by maintaining that Central Mfg. Co. was a Delaware corporation." Stoller knew that he had not incorporated Central Mfg. Co, but he "likely attempted to conceal this fact from the Court because the trademark registrations that are the basis for the infringement claims, state that Central Mfg. Co., not Central Mfg. Inc., owns sole title to the disputed marks."

Will the Board conclude that Stoller has likewise misled the Board regarding ownership of the STEALTH marks? Will Stoller's own stealthful (stealthy?) conduct bring an end to his STEALTH enforcement program? Time will tell.

In the past several weeks, Mr. Stoller has filed dozens of extension requests in the name of an entity called "Central Mfg. Co. (Inc.)." Is this his attempt to make an end run around the ownership problem? Several of the requests involve the Star logo of the Dallas Cowboys. Apparently Mr. Stoller sees the Cowboys' mark as being in conflict with Central Mfg. Co.'s registered DARK STAR word mark.

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2005.


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