Wednesday, June 06, 2018

TTAB Finds HOUSTON BITES Merely Descriptive of Website Featuring Restaurants

[I will not make any references to the recent demise of the Houston Rockets]. In an opinion of a mere six pages, the Board affirmed a Section 2(e)(1) refusal to register HOUSTON BITES, finding the mark to be merely descriptive of "[p]roviding a website featuring non-downloadable photographs regarding restaurants, food and beverages" [HOUSTON disclaimed]. In re Houston Bites, LLC, Serial No. 87170141 (June 4, 2018) [not precedential] (Opinion by Judge Angela Lykos).


Examining Attorney Douglas M. Lee submitted a dictionary entry for Houston ("a city of southeast Texas near Galveston Bay"), and one for "bites" (an informal term meaning "a light meal or snack").

The Board found that the combination HOUSTON BITES is merely descriptive of Applicant's Internet content provision services. This conclusion was bolstered by evidence of third-party use of "bites" preceded by a geographic location to identify websites featuring restaurant and food reviews (e.g., CHICAGO BITES, JERSEY BITES).

In sum, Applicant’s proposed mark immediately conveys, without need for conjecture or speculation, a feature of Applicant’s services, namely that the subject matter of the photographs displayed on Applicant’s website is light meals and snacks available in Houston, Texas.

And so the Board affirmed the refusal.

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TTABlog comment: WYHA?

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2018.

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