TTAB Finds "E-LEX" Merely Descriptive of Litigation Support Services
Finding that "e" means electronic or Internet-based, and that "lex" means law, the Board affirmed a refusal to register the mark E-LEX for "litigation support services for attorneys provided via an electronic network with court-specific consultation on the rules and implementation of procedures for filing electronically." In re The Lex Group VA, Serial No. 76665046 (August 28, 2009) [not precedential].
Applicant Lex Group feebly argued that "neither the applied-for service nor the intended customer base is 'law'" and that none of the definitions offered by Examining Attorney David E. Tooley, Jr. "included any mention of electronic filing, submission assistance, or rule compliance...." Moreover, Applicant urged that "[t]he applied-for services are not solely electronic; rather, there is a human element to the filing services."
The Board relied on dictionary definitions and Internet excerpts to conclude that "[t]he letter 'e-' would inform prospective consumers its services are provided electronically through the internet. Also, inasmuch as its services are directed to attorneys for litigation support services, the term 'lex' would describe the fact that applicant is providing a type of legal or law-related services."
And so the Board affirmed the refusal to register.
TTABlog comment: I don't agree with this decision. [Who cares? - ed.] I just don't think that LEX is descriptive of these services. It's too vague. It's too Latin. Do others need to use the term LEX or e-Lex to describe these services? I think not. To paraphrase Dickens, "If this is the lex, then the lex is a ass." Or something like that.
Text Copyright John L. Welch 2009.