Thursday, September 18, 2014

Precedential No. 37: TTAB Affirms Rejection of Web Page Specimen for Computer Services

The TTAB has re-designated as precedential its three-year old decision in In re Chengdu AOBI Information Technology Co., Ltd., wherein the Board affirmed a refusal to register the mark IObit on the Supplemental Register for computer programming, software design, data conversion, web site hosting, computer maintenance, and other related services. The Examining Attorney had deemed the specimen of use (below) unacceptable because it did not show use of the mark for any of the identified services. In re Chengdu AOBI Information Technology Co., Ltd., 111 USPQ2d 2080 (TTAB 2011) [precedential].


The specimen of use was a screenshot from applicant's website. The only mentions of services on the web page were as follows:

Our sincere commitment to all our customers is that we will continue delivering innovative system utilities that are as simple to use as they are powerful and reliable. We also promise that we will keep providing the first-class free software and online service, for personal or non-commercial use.

We pursue the genuine ambition of becoming one of the world's top utility producers and Windows system service providers on the Internet.

The Board found these vague references to services to be insufficient to show use of the mark IObit for the recited services.

In fact, we cannot determine from this specimen whether the "online service" refers to a separate service, or is merely part of the free software product. Nor is applicant’s stated ambition to be a Windows system service provider an indication that applicant is providing a service now, and this statement certainly does not show that applicant is offering any of the services specified in the application.

The Board also reviewed other specimens that applicant had submitted, but applicant did not even argue that they were acceptable since they were either illegible or referred to products, not services.

Read comments and post your comment here;

TTABlog note:  This decision appears as Example No. 20 in the USPTO's new Examination Guide for Service Mark specimens (here).

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2014.


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