Friday, August 19, 2005

Yankees Win! Bronx Bombers Best "BABY BOMBERS" in TTAB Battle

The New York Yankees and their minor league affiliate, the Staten Island Yankees, teamed up for an easy victory in their Section 2(d) opposition to registration for the mark BABY BOMBERS for "clothing and athletic wear, namely, shirts, shorts, pants and hats." The Board found the mark confusingly similar to the identical mark BABY BOMBERS used by and associated with opposers for baseball entertainment services. New York Yankees Partnership v. Hart, Opposition No. 91156780 (August 10, 2005) [not citable].

The major league Yankees (sometimes referred to as the "Bronx Bombers") submitted evidence showing use of the term "Baby Bombers" to refer to the Staten Island minor league team, and evidence showing that the press has used the term "Baby Bombers" to refer to both the minor league team and the big league club. The Board found that Opposers' services include entertainment services "in the nature of baseball games," and that Opposers have used the name of the minor league team (i.e., STATEN ISLAND YANKEES) on clothing items. The Board therefore concluded that Applicant's clothing items and Opposers' services are related: "consumers are likely to assume that there is some association between the source of these goods and services."

Applicant Leon P. Hart displayed no offensive punch. He feebly argued that "Baby Bombers" is "descriptive of a minor league or rookie team having potential for explosive play, such as slugging or home run hitting." The Board disagreed. First, the mark does not immediately describe a quality or characteristic of Opposers' services. Second, the evidence showed that the term "has been overwhelmingly used to refer to either opposers' Staten Island Yankees or New York Yankee teams or players." Indeed, the Board held the term "Baby Boomers" to be inherently distinctive.

Thus the Board handed George Steinbrenner another victory, undoubtedly to the extreme annoyance of Red Sox fans everywhere.

TTABlog trivia quiz: Name the two New York Yankee pitchers who swapped wives and families in the 1970's. Answer here.

TTABlog disclaimer: I am neither a Yankee fan nor a Red Sox fan. I'm a Chicago native and a Pale Hose fan.

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2005


Post a Comment

<< Home