Friday, March 17, 2006

"SATURDAY MORNING T.V." Merely Descriptive of TV Programs, Says TTAB in Citable No. 17

Turn off the bubble machine! Another citable mere descriptiveness decision has been launched by the TTAB, the fifth Section 2(e)(1) ruling in the last seven citables. In this, the 17th citable decision of 2006, the Board affirmed a refusal to register SATURDAY MORNING T.V. for "entertainment in the nature of on-going television programs in the field of comedy." In re Classic Media, Inc., 78 USPQ2d 1699 (TTAB 2006).

Examining Attorney Charles L. Jenkins, Jr., maintained that the mark "has a specific meaning in television parlance" and merely describes entertainment services "in the nature of television programs that were once shown on Saturday mornings." He relied on numerous NEXIS excerpts and on a dictionary listing of "TV" as an abbreviation for "television."

Applicant Classic Media declared that its services:

"are intended to appeal to the older viewer and evoke the memory of a time during the 1950's and 1960's when extensive children's programming appeared exclusively on Saturday mornings. The mark will not be used to describe goods that are aired on television on Saturday mornings. Instead, the mark suggests the nostalgic nature of the programming offered in the intended product."

The Board observed again that the determination of mere descriptiveness must be made not in the abstract, but in the context of the involved goods and services. It noted that Classic Media "intends to use the mark for a compilation of classic programs that appeared on Saturday morning television, specifically mentioning 'Mr. Magoo,' 'Casper & Friends,' 'The Lone Ranger,' 'Lassie,' 'Sgt. Preston of the Yukon,' and 'Shari Lewis & Friends.'" The NEXIS evidence "shows use of 'Saturday morning T.V.' (or television) to describe this particular type or genre of television programming."

The mark would also be descriptive, according to the Board, of "contemporary television programming," in that "it describes a recognized type of television program, namely, television programs shown on Saturday mornings."

Consequently, the Board affirmed the Section 2(e)(1) refusal.

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2006.


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