TTAB Affirms 2(e)(1) Descriptiveness Refusal of "THE TTABLOG"
THE TTABLOG is not an inherently distinctive mark, says the TTAB. The Board has affirmed the PTO's Section 2(e)(1) refusal of the mark, finding it merely descriptive of "An online blog featuring commentary and information in the field of trademarks; an online blog featuring commentary and information regarding decisions of the Trademark Trial and Appeal [Board] and the courts relating to trademark law." On the brighter side, however, the application will now proceed to publication based upon the Examining Attorney's previous acceptance of Applicant's evidence of acquired distinctiveness under Section 2(f). In re Welch, Serial No. 78669946 (August 20, 2007) [not precedential].
Applicant argued that the mark, although comprised of the telescoped descriptive words TTAB and BLOG, "possesses an analogous distinctive characteristic to that of the double-entendre cases, namely, its 'tongue-twisting' pronunciation." The Board, however, rejected the contention the "the simple fact that some individuals allegedly experience uncertainty in determining how to pronounce Applicant's mark ipso facto renders it inherently distinctive." Rather, according to the Board, relevant consumers will readily perceive the merely descriptive significance of Applicant's mark, THE TTABLOG, that is, a blog concerned with TTAB matters, and nothing more."
Moreover, the Board found that, even accepting Applicant's "novel theory" regarding pronunciation, the evidence did not support the proposition that "the uncertainty regarding pronunciation so alters the commercial impression of the mark as to render it inherently distinctive."
TTABlog non-comment: Rather than comment on this decision, I will leave it up to the reader to form her or his own opinion regarding same.
I do note, however, that this may be the first and only Board opinion in which a statement made by Leo Stoller is cited in support of the Board's position. How ironic is that?
Text Copyright John L. Welch 2007.