Monday, March 21, 2005

TTAB Denies Leo Stoller Summary Judgment Motion In "GROUND ZERO STEALTH" Opposition

In an Order dated March 11, 2005, the TTAB has (not surprisingly) denied Central Mfg.'s summary judgment motion in the GROUND ZERO STEALTH football kicking tee opposition. Central Mfg. Co. v. Premium Products, Inc., Opposition No. 91159950. The summary judgment motion was previously discussed here at the TTABlog.

Central Mfg. Co, owned by Stoller, has opposed the GROUND ZERO STEALTH application on the basis of Central's ownership of 34 federal registrations and 15 pending applications for marks comprising or including the word STEALTH for a variety of goods and services, several in the sporting goods class.

Actual GROUND ZERO® brand tee used by Adam Vinatieri
in New England Patriots' Super Bowl XXXVI victory

Summary judgment for a Section 2(d) opposer is, of course, very difficult to obtain. Unless the marks are nearly identical and the goods/services overlapping, a genuine issue of material fact is likely to be found among the DuPont factors. Here there were many such factual issues:

"We find that there are genuine issues of material fact, at a minimum, with respect to the similarity, commercial impression and connotation of the parties' respective marks, and the relatedness of the parties' respective goods. In addition, we find that there are genuine issues of material fact regarding the strength of opposer's marks and whether they constitute a family of marks."

The Board re-set discovery and trial dates, with discovery to close on August 30, 2005.

Text ©John L. Welch 2005. All Rights Reserved.


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