Friday, June 10, 2005

TTAB Finds "MIRROR MIRROR" Merely Descriptive Of A Double Mirror

The Board spent little time reflecting on Applicant's arguments before finding the mark MIRROR MIRROR merely descriptive of a "double mirror with arm extension." In re Glaze, Inc., Serial No. 76528004 (May 31, 2005) [not citable]. Oddly, Applicant Glaze disclaimed the "second" MIRROR apart from the mark as shown.

example of intended product

Glaze argued that the disclaimer of the second MIRROR makes the mark as a whole less descriptive, and further that MIRROR MIRROR has a "bizarre meaning." The Board, however, found that MIRROR is descriptive of Applicant's goods, and that MIRROR MIRROR "is equally descriptive ... and the disclaimer does not render the mark any less descriptive." As to the supposed "bizarre meaning," the Board noted that Glaze failed to point out what that meaning might be.

In support of its ruling, the Board quoted In re Disk Jockeys Inc., 23 USPQ2d 1715 (TTAB 1992), wherein the mark DJDJ was found to be merely descriptive of disk jockey services:

"If one were to express the view that milk was 'creamy creamy' or that a red bicycle was 'red red' or that a razor was 'sharp sharp', the repetition of the words 'creamy', 'red' and 'sharp' would be understood as emphasis and the combinations of these words would not, simply because of their repetition, be rendered something more than descriptive. Nothing new or different is imparted by the simple repetition of the descriptive expression DJ. Thus the composite is, in our view, equally descriptive as used in connection with the identified services."

Glaze had one arrow left in its quiver, but again it missed the mark. It contended that "purchasers may associate MIRROR MIRROR with the chant in the Cinderella fairytale of 'Mirror mirror on the wall ....'" The Board was not moved: "even assuming that purchasers would associate the chant in the Cinderella fairytale with applicant's goods, the primary meaning of MIRROR MIRROR in the context of applicant's goods is that of a double mirror."


TTABlog musings: Is MIRROR MIRROR generic for mirrors? Would such a finding require proof of actual use of the term "mirror mirror" by others, under the applicable genericness test for phrases? Even if not generic, is the phrase so descriptive as to be incapable of acquiring secondary meaning?

TTABlog quiz: We all know that a double negative produces a positive, right? E.g., "not unfriendly" or "not unusual." Can you think of a double positive that yields a negative? Answer on Monday.

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


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