Friday, August 08, 2008

TTAB Affirms Mere Descriptiveness Refusal of "ITALIAN SUSHI" for ... Guess What?

In another one of those futile ex parte appeals that leads one to ask "why bother?", the Board affirmed a Section 2(e)(1) mere descriptiveness refusal of the mark ITALIAN SUSHI for "food items consisting of seafood ... and cheese ... and prosciutto combined with other ingredients served in a roll and ring form for on or off premises sales." In re Alfredo International Inc., Serial No. 76659790 (July 22, 2008) [not precedential].

Examining Attorney Daniel Brody relied on dictionary definitions of "Italian" and "sushi," as well as on 16 Internet articles, restaurant reviews, and menu items employing the term "Italian sushi" as a "type of food that combines Italian-style food with sushi-style presentation." For example, a New York Times restaurant review observed that:

"Italian sushi is best forgotten. This jarring cross-cultural mistake, consisting of a warm roll enclosed in a rubbery ring of calamari, won no converts at our table."

Applicant lamely argued that "an imaginative step is required to understand ITALIAN SUSHI to mean an Italian form of sushi." Not so, said the Board.

Sayonara! Arrivederci!

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2008.


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