Divided TTAB Panel Finds NEIGHBORHOOD RADIO Generic for ... Guess What?
A divided panel of the TTAB affirmed a refusal to register, on the Supplemental Register, the applied-for mark NEIGHBORHOOD RADIO, finding it to be generic for “radio broadcasting of information and other programs” [RADIO disclaimed]. Judge Masiello filed a terse dissent. In re Sounds Good Broadcast Consultants, Inc., Serial No. 77885449 (October 29, 2013) [not precedential].
The Board found the genus of services to be identified by applicant’s recitation of services. The question, then, was whether the relevant consuming public – ordinary consumers who listen to “radio broadcasting of information and other programs” – understands the term NEIGHBORHOOD RADIO to identify a type of radio broadcasting service.
The panel majority concluded that the Examining Attorney William T. Verhosek had established the term’s genericness by the required clear evidence, consisting of applicant’s own specimen of use, third-party Internet pages, and several Lexis/Nexis articles.
Applicant’s own use of the term NEIGHBORHOOD RADIO (e.g., “your community radio station”) and the third-party uses (e.g., “Start Your Very Own Neighborhood Radio Station!”; “FCC Supports Neighborhood Radio”: “How to create and run your own neighborhood radio network”) demonstrate that the public understands that NEIGHBORHOOD RADIO is generic for “radio broadcasting of information and other programs.”
Judge Masiello dissented, briefly: “I do not believe the examining attorney has met his burden of demonstrating by clear evidence that the expression NEIGHBORHOOD RADIO is generic."
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TTABlog comment: I didn’t find the evidence all that convincing either. What do you think?
Text Copyright John L. Welch 2013.