Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Detroit Tigers Oppose "BUILD-A-TIGER" for Stuffed Toys and Related Store Services

The Detroit Tigers make a visit to the Hot Stove League with an opposition to registration of the mark BUILD-A-TIGER for plush and stuffed toys and accessories therefor, clothing for stuffed and plush toys, and related retail store services. Detroit Tigers, Inc. v. Build-A-Bear Retail Management, Inc., Opposition No. 91191960.

Opposer claims rights in the mark TIGERS for, inter alia, "retail store services, online retail store services, toys, including, without limitation, stuffed and plush toy animals and clothing and accessories therefor, novelty items, clothing, and sporting goods." As usual, the Tigers allege that the applied-for mark will likely cause confusion with the TIGERS mark and will suggest a false association with the Detroit Tigers.

Applicant is, of course, the owner of the well-know BUILD-A-BEAR WORKSHOP retail store chain.

Build-A-Bear tiger

Who do you think will win this one? Isn't the word "Tiger" generic for stuffed toys shaped like a tiger? [Like ATTIC is generic for a type of sprinkler]. Now maybe I can see a problem with BUILD-A-YANKEE or BUILD-A-PATRIOT, but BUILD-A-TIGER? Gimme a break!

Let's suppose, hypothetically, that Opposer doesn't really expect to win this opposition and that Applicant doesn't want to spend the time and money to fight the opposition to it's conclusion. What would be a reasonable settlement in terms of restrictions placed on Applicant's use of the applied-for mark?

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2009.


At 12:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The winner will be the one willing to pay their lawyers the most.

Isnt' it interesting that the same NYC law firm is filing all of these oppositions for the various MLB teams? And their M.O. for each seems to be to file first, then suspend and settle. I'd say they've done a good job of generating some work for themselves.

At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Rob said...

Build-A-Bear has a rather weak trademark prosecution record. In Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. v. Pallone (available here), the panel said: "The words 'bear' and 'build,' when applied to the stuffing of teddy bears, seem fairly descriptive of the activity in question."

At 8:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - Thanks for another year of service to the trademark community, including all the reports on baseball oppositions. Could it be that MLB is feeding steroids to its IP attorneys?

Happy New Year from Cub-fan Keith.


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