Office Door Sign Not Adequate Specimen of Use for Real Estate Services, Says TTAB
The Board affirmed a refusal to register the mark REPUBLIC NATIONAL for various real estate services, because applicant's specimens of use failed to show the mark in use with the identified services. Applicant had submitted two photographs of the front door of the facility at which it provides the services. In re Republic National LLC, Serial No. 86513101 (February 23, 2017) [not precedential].
The Board pointed out that a specimen of use must show "some direct association between the offer of services and the mark sought to be registered therefor." If the mark is "used in rendering the identified services," the specimen "need not explicitly refer to those services in order to establish the requisite direct association between the mark and the services."
Here applicant's front door did not reference the services. Displaying the mark on the front door does not constitute use of the mark in the rendering of the services.
The front door embossed with Applicant’s REPUBLIC NATIONAL mark is not providing real estate investment and acquisition services, banking and financing services or real estate development services; rather, the front office door of Applicant’s business establishment that is imprinted with the REPUBLIC NATIONAL mark, beyond merely directing an existing client to Applicant’s location, is more similar to advertising and without some reference to the services.
The Board distinguished In re Metriplex, 23 USPQ2d 1315 (TTAB 1992), wherein the Board deemed acceptable a computer screen display that appeared in the course of Metriplex's rendering of its data transmission services. The Board found that those services were provided "through a tangible item, namely, a computer terminal, so that the mark can appear on the computer screen, and the specimens show such use."
Here, applicant's office front door is more similar to an advertisement for applicant's services, and so the specimen must make some reference to the services. As displayed, applicant's mark could refer to any number of possible services.
And so the Board affirmed the refusal under Section 1 and 45.
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TTABlog comment: One suspects that applicant has other specimens of use that would satisfy the USPTO.
Text Copyright John L. Welch 2017.