Monday, February 25, 2013

Test Your TTAB Judge-Ability on these Five Mere Descriptiveness Refusals

The TTAB recently ruled on the appeals from the five Section 2(e)(1) mere descriptiveness refusals summarized below. Let's see how you do with them, keeping in mind that the Board affirms, in my estimation, more than 80% of these refusals. By the way, do you see any WYHA's here?

In re Tofasco of America, Inc., Serial Nos. 85084630 (February 8, 2013) [not precedential].[Refusal to register APEN, in the stylized form shown below, for "digital pens" (in Class 9) and for "online retail and wholesale store, wholesale distributorship, catalogue ordering service and mail order service featuring digital pens"].

In re Athmaram Vasudevan, Serial No. 77849253 (February 6, 2013)[not precedential]. [Refusal to register ASSISTANT GC for "outsourcing in the field of law"].

In re Camp Bow Wow Distribution, LLC, Serial No. 85138662 (February 6, 2013)[not precedential]. [Refusal to register CAMPER CAMS for "Remote monitoring of data indicative of the health or condition of an individual or group of individuals, namely, video monitoring of pets, viewable through a global computer network and mobile devices" and for "Monitoring for security and safety purposes,namely, video monitoring of pets, viewable through a global computer network and mobiledevices"].

In re Ranir, LLC, Serial No. 85156652 (February 6, 2013)[not precedential]. [Refusal to register CLINICAL GRADE for "night teeth guards"].

In re Barteca Restaurants, LLC, Serial Nos. 85202482 and 85202583 (February 1, 2013) [not precedential]. [Refusal to register BARTACO, in standard character, for "restaurant and bar services"].

Read comments and post your comment here.

TTABlog note: Two of the five refusals were reversed. Answers in comments.

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2013.


At 6:05 AM, Blogger John L. Welch said...

The first and last refusals were reversed.

At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Joshua Jarvis said...

The board got these right, in my humble opinion.

At 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am astonished that aPen is not descriptive (or generic) for a pen. The explanation that "a" can equally be an arbitrary letter, first order, or opposite is befuddling. I guess if the mark was The Pen, "the" can equally be arbitrary letters, initials, or hyperbole to suggest the one and only pen.

At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anonymous1: Reading the opinion reveals (i) a discussion of definite vs. indefinite articles; (ii) logically, a word ("the") and a single letter ("a") do not have the same range of connotations within a mark; and (iii) that "pen" is not technically the correct designation for the aPEN stylus.


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