Tuesday, August 29, 2017

TTAB Test: Is GLOBAL GROWERS Merely Descriptive of Frozen Fruits and Vegetables?

The USPTO refused registration of the mark GLOBAL GROWERS under Section 2(e)(1), finding it merely descriptive of "Frozen fruits; Frozen vegetables." The Examining Attorney maintained that "GLOBAL" is descriptive because the goods are offered on an international market," and "GROWERS" is descriptive because it indicates that the goods come from persons or entities that grow the fruits and vegetables. How do you think this came out? In re Global Growers Foods Company Limited, Serial No. 87036671 (August 24, 2017) [not precedential] (Opinion by Judge Marc A. Bergsman).

The Examining Attorney also submitted statements from applicant's website: "We are growers, sourcing, and logistics professionals dedicated to delivering more than 100 items from the bounties of the earth to every continent." "Global Growers has forged together the best farmers from the 7 continents." [Sounds painful - ed.].

The Board observed that "GLOBAL" may convey some meaning about applicant - that it is an international company - but it says nothing about any ingredient, quality, characteristic, feature, function, purpose or use of the goods. Similarly, "GROWERS" suggests a person, company or place that grows the fruits and vegetables, but it does not convey any information about the goods.

Other evidence submitted by the Examining Attorney showed use of "global," "grower," and "global grower" as descriptions of the producer of fruits and vegetables, not of the fruits and vegetables themselves.

Rather, a multistage reasoning process, or the utilization of imagination, thought or perception, is required to connect the international company/person who grow the fruits and vegetables with the end product (frozen fruits and vegetables). Based thereon, we find the mark GLOBAL GROWERS to be suggestive rather than descriptive.

And so the Board reversed the refusal.

Read comments and post your comment here.

TTABlog comment: I'll bet you got this one right!

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2017.


At 7:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got this one wrong. I expected the Board to rather easily affirm this refusal under the cases cited in TMEP 1209.03(q).


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