CAFC Affirms T-T-A-B's Dismissal of Cancellation Petitions Aimed at VILLAGE PEOPLE Registrations
In a brief, nonprecedential decision, the CAFC affirmed the TTAB's ruling (here) dismissing the fraud and misrepresentation-of-source claims of Karen L. Willis, and also entering summary judgment in favor of Can’t Stop Productions, Inc. on her claims that the mark VILLAGE PEOPLE is generic and was abandoned. Karen L. Willis v. Can't Stop Productions, Inc., Appeal No. 2012-1109 (Fed. Cir. November 13, 2012) [not precedential].
The court concluded that the TTAB correctly entered summary judgment on the genericness claim because there was no evidence that "Village People" is used as a generic term for musical recordings or performances.
As to abandonment, Willis contended that the Village People do not perform as a "musical and vocal group" because they do not sing or play instruments. Instead they lip-sync to recorded music. The court, however, ruled that, "[a]lthough it may reflect on the quality of the entertainment Appellee offers, Mrs. Willis’s argument that the Village People do not actually sing or play their own instruments fails to disqualify them as a “musical and vocal group.”
The court also concluded that the Board properly dismissed Appellant's fraud and misrepresentation-of-source claims as unsupported by any evidence.
Therefore, the court affirmed the TTAB's decision, per curiam.
TTABlog comment: This appellate decision may be of minimal legal import, but it does provide a welcome opportunity to resurrect a golden oldie from the TTABlog songbook: namely, "T-T-A-B." [sung to the tune of the Village People's "Y-M-C-A." (What, you expect me to write music too?)].
Losers, there's no need to feel down, I said
Losers, pick your chin from the ground,
get a lawyer who can turn it around,
Take your case up on appeal, and
Owners, you can protect your marks
By opposing. Make your bite match your bark.
You can cancel, should the worse come to worst
Yes the good guys finish first .....
At the T-T-A-B
You gotta go to the T-T-A-B.
When your trademark's at stake
For your own goodness sake
At the Board you will get a fair shake.
You've got to go to the T-T-A-B
I said to go to the T-T-A-B
Don't just fall on your sword,
Bring your case to the Board,
Where you're sure to get your just reward ....
At the T-T-A-B
You've gotta go to the T-T-A-B.
Text and lyrics Copyright John L. Welch 2006, 2012.