Wednesday, November 05, 2008

TTAB Finds "BOMBJAMMER" Generic for ... Guess What?

The Board affirmed a refusal to register the term BOMBJAMMER, on the Supplemental Register, for "instruments comprised of transmitters and other electronic devices for use as countermeasures against radio-linked explosives," finding the term to be generic and thus incapable of functioning as a trademark. In re Homeland Security Strategies, Inc., Serial No. 78590586 (October 21, 2008) [not precedential].

Examining Attorney William H. Dawe, III, submitted "clear and convincing evidence" of genericness in the form of dictionary definitions of "bomb" and "jammer," NEXIS articles showing use of the phrase "bomb jammer" in connection with the involved genus of goods, and third-party websites showing use of "bomb jammer" vis-a-vis jamming devices.

Applicant Homeland Security Strategies argued mainly that there are other terms that may be used for this genus of products: e.g., jammers, ref jammers, and IED jammers. The Board pointed out, however, that the existence of other generic terms is immaterial: a product may have more than one generic name, and all generic names for a product belong in the public domain.

The Board ruled that the PTO had established a prima facie of genericness, which Applicant failed to rebut.

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2008.


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