TTAB Orders Cancellation of Supplemental Registration Due to Non-Ownership
The Board granted a petition for cancellation of a registration for the mark THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF VETERINARY SPORTS MEDICINE AND REHABILITATION for "veterinary education services namely conducting classes, seminars, clinical seminars, conferences, workshops and internships and externships in veterinary sports medicine and veterinary rehabilitation," ruling that Registrant Sheila Lyons never owned the mark, and therefore that her underlying application was void ab initio. The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation v. Sheila Lyons, Cancellation No. 92053934 (March 17, 2016) [not precedential].
Respondent Lyons claimed to be the first user of the term, but the Board looked at the big picture: "Even if Respondent made some early use of the mark between its conception and her contact with Dr. Gillette in 1999, that alone does not suffice to establish ownership. 'In a dispute over priority of use for a mark requiring secondary meaning, mere priority of use (as for technical trademarks) is insufficient. It is the party who first achieved trademark significance in the mark through secondary meaning who is the senior user of such a mark.'"
Pamela Chestek, IP ownership maven, tells the story here at her Property, Intangible blog.
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Text Copyright John L. Welch 2016.