Wednesday, October 16, 2019

WYHA? TTAB Affirms Mere Descriptiveness Refusal of CONSERVATIVE INSTITUTE for On-Line Information Services

In an opinion of just over seven pages, the Board affirmed a Section 2(e)(1) refusal to register CONSERVATIVE INSTITUTE for providing on-line information if the fields of politics class 35), entertainment (class 41), and religion (class 45). Applicant feebly pointed to two existing registrations for marks containing the word CONSERVATIVE, but the word was disclaimed in one registration and the other was a Supplemental Registration. Would you have appealed? In re Conservative Institute, LLC, Serial No. 87658084 (October 8, 2019) [not precedential] (Opinion by Judge Thomas W. Wellington).

Examining Attorney Steven W. Jackson submitted dictionary definitions of CONSERVATIVE and INSTITUTE, as well as printouts from applicant's website that demonstrated "the plain meaning of each term in the proposed mark and the manner in which they combine to convey important information about applicant's services." The Board found that the alleged mark "describes both the source (an 'institute' or organization) and the content ('conservative' or traditional values) of the information being provided."

As Applicant itself states, it is an “organization” that prides itself on providing “principled defenses of conservatism with daily content” on its website. In the context of the services recited in the application, consumers will immediately understand the proposed mark to convey information about the content of the services, namely, that the on-line information provided via a global communications network in the fields of politics, entertainment and religion will reflect conservative beliefs or a conservative perspective as part of Applicant’s effort to “help people understand the conservative narrative.” As Applicant puts it, it provides “news and analysis from a conservative worldview.”

And so the Board affirmed the refusal to register.

Read comments and post your comment here.

TTABlog comment: Well, would you have?

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2019.


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