Thursday, August 20, 2009


Applicant Elena Potoupa sought to register the mark WOW PRINTABLE COUPONS for promotional services featuring online downloadable coupons ["PRINTABLE COUPONS" disclaimed], but Examining Attorney Marcie R. Frum Milone refused registration under Section 2(d) in view of the registered mark WOW! MARKETING for advertising and marketing services and for dissemination of advertising online ["MARKETING" disclaimed]. Potoupa appealed. Would You Have Appealed? In re Elena Potoupa, Serial No. 78770813 (August 6, 2009) [not precedential].

The Board agreed with the Examining Attorney that the services involved are "essentially the same." Potoupa argued that she could find no use of Registrant's mark on the Internet and thus there could be no confusion, but the Board pointed out that this allegation is in essence an impermissible collateral attack on cited registrations.

Turning to the marks, the Board found the word WOW to be the dominant portion of each mark. Applicant focused on the specific differences between the marks, but the Board pointed out that these differences are "of no significance because ... our analysis is not a side-by-side comparison of the marks; rather, the focus is on the recollection of the average purchaser, who normally retains a general rather than a specific impression of trademarks." Therefore, the Board found the marks to be "substantially similar."

And so the Board affirmed the refusal.

Elena Potoupa

TTABlog comment: Wow! What can I say? Perhaps Ms. Potoupa should consider a petition for cancellation?

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2009.


At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This type of decision seems par for the course for the USPTO/TTAB these days. I'm starting to sour on submitting marks for registrations b/c it seems the reasons for refusal are becoming more and more inane. I find that the smarter and more researched your counter argument to a refusal the more likely the examining attorney will shoot it down. It's best not to come across too smart b/c the examining attorney then feels compelled to show you they are smarter and/or that your smarts don't matter b/c THEY hold the power.

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Michael Hall said...

Anonymous: What is "inane" about this decision? It looks quite ordinary and reasonable to me.

At 10:52 AM, Anonymous Josh said...

Yes, what exactly is "inane" about this rather straightforward decision? Also, I am curious as to which part of the applicant's "counter argument" you found either "smart" or "more researched."

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So.. What would you recommend? If she has been using the term and site for over 5 years and it is a known combination? Just curious

At 10:01 AM, Blogger John L. Welch said...

I made a suggestion in my comment at the bottom of the post.


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