Monday, March 05, 2018

TTAB Test: Is "ALL IN ONE" Merely Descriptive of Electric Wall-Mounted Hand Dryers?

The USPTO refused registration of the mark ALL IN ONE, finding it to be merely descriptive of "electric wall-mounted hand dryers." Applicant Excel argued that because its products perform only one function they can't be all-in-one units, and therefore it would take "significant imagination and thought for a relevant consumer to reach a conclusion as to the nature of the associated goods." How do you think this appeal came out? In re Excel Dryer, Inc., Serial No. 86754756 (March 2, 2018) [not precedential] (Opinion by Judge Thomas Shaw).

The evidence submitted by Examining Attorney Joanna M. Shanoski showed that wall-mounted hand dryers frequently combine a number of functions or features into one unit: for example, the ability to dry both hands and hair. "In addition, the dryers may include automatic sensors, be ADA compliant, vandal resistant and able to handle multiple voltages, incorporate antimicrobial technology, or have paper towel dispensers as well."

Since applicant’s identification of goods is broadly worded and without limitation as to function or feature, it must be interpreted to include functions or features common to such hand dryers.

Accordingly, we find that consumers will readily understand from the term ALL IN ONE that Applicant’s hand dryers will combine two or more functions or features in a single unit. Indeed, two of the foregoing hand dryer product descriptions, the “VERDIdri all-in-one hand dryer” and the American Specialties “all-in-one unit,” use the term “all-in-one” to describe similar competing products with multiple such functions or features. ALL IN ONE must remain available for competitors to use in describing their hand dryers with multiple functions or features."

And so the Board affirmed the refusal.

Read comments and post your comment here.

TTABlog comment: The opinion is a mere six pages. Is this a WYHA? If the product performs only one function, then why is it called "ALL IN ONE?"

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2018.


At 11:42 AM, Blogger Tara Aaron said...

I want to know what the relevant consuming public (aka everybody) thinks a dryer attached to a wall does besides dry. And I'd like to see the dryer that isn't capable of drying both hands and hair.

At 5:15 PM, Blogger John L. Welch said...

Did you see the movie, "Desperately Seeking Susan?"

At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try drying your hair in this one -

At 1:42 PM, Blogger John L. Welch said...

Could work on a ponytail.

At 8:40 PM, Anonymous Nik said...

It seems as though Applicant used too much imagination in trying to trademark ALL IN ONE. The argument that applicant makes stating that its goods "perform only as an electric wall-mounted electric hand dryer" really does not leave much to be imagined. If the units moisturized your hands, did your nails, or even at the least had a paper towel dispenser as well, then maybe they could be deemed as being "ALL IN ONE." The lack of multiple functions makes it hard to describe a device as all-in-one when the only function is one.

Perhaps Applicant should have been more descriptive in their identification of goods or have not used such a descriptive mark in the first place to describe them.


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