Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Reversing a Section 2(d) refusal to register, the Board found the mark ACCUMULATOR BONUS MAXXX for insurance services, including consultation and brokerage in the field of annuities ("BONUS" disclaimed), not likely to cause confusion with the registered mark BONUS MAX for annuity underwriting services. In re Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, Serial No. 75627987 (April 20, 2005) [not citable].

Applicant Allianz did not bother to argue that the involved services are unrelated, and so the Board focused on the similarities and dissimilarities in the respective marks. It found that the ACCUMULATOR portion of Applicant's mark "contributes to a composite that is pronounced very differently from registrant's mark."

As to the appearance of the marks, although the registered mark "can be 'seen' within applicant’s mark, the marks are not visually similar."

As to connotation, ACCUMULATOR is suggestive in Applicant’s mark (the services are backed by an "accumulation of diverse assets"), but BONUS is descriptive (bonus interest is available), and MAXXX is laudatory.

"Overall, the connotation of applicant's mark is that of [a] flexible insurance or annuity product which gathers together or accumulates various features desirable by the consumer, with a bonus interest feature, and is a great or maximum value."

The Board found that the registered mark BONUS MAX "does not have the connotation of a product or service that gathers or accumulates various desirable features (or any of the other possible connotations that might be ascribed to ACCUMULATOR)," and this subtle difference in connotation, coupled with the "clear differences" in appearance and sound, led the Board to conclude that confusion is not likely.

TTTBlog comment: Do you think it's easy finding a picture of "insurance services?"

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


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