Wednesday, July 27, 2022

TTABlog Test: Is "SUPERSALT" Merely Descriptive of Dietary Supplements?

The USPTO refused to register the proposed mark SUPERSALT for "dietary supplements," on the ground of mere descriptiveness under Section 2(e)(1). The evidence established that salt is a common ingredient of supplements, and the Examining Attorney argued that "super" is merely laudatory and descriptive. Applicant contended that SUPERSALT is a unitary, suggestive mark whose structure and alliteration cause a consumer to pause and think about the goods. How do you think this came out? In re Super Salt, LLC, Serial No. 88143498 (July 22, 2022) [not precedential] (Opinion by Judge Cheryl S. Goodman).

The Board found the word "salt"to be descriptive of Applicant’s electrolyte salt dietary supplements. The word "super" describes the main ingredient of applicant's product, pink sea salt, as being superior, first-rate, and high quality.

In particular, the salt used in Applicant’s supplement is claimed to be specially sourced in the USA from an ancient deposit in Utah, is an unrefined, natural sea salt and has a much higher mineral content than refined salt used in many salt tablets or capsules. In addition, SUPER also may describe Applicant’s dietary supplements as “large and powerful” in that the main ingredient in the electrolyte salt supplement is identified as “salt” and Applicant describes its supplement as offering “high performance rehydration” and “rapid oral rehydration” since the unrefined sea salt contains +60 natural minerals for electrolyte replenishment.

When the two words are combined, their individual meanings do not change, and the combination creates no new meaning. Nor is the meaning changed by the mark's structure or alliteration.

[P]urchasers and potential customers who know what Applicant’s goods are would plainly understand that SUPERSALT designates a dietary supplement made of an excellent, first-rate, or superior grade of salt, containing as its main component salt, and offering a more powerful form of electrolyte replacement since the salt making up the supplement has a higher mineral content.

Therefore, the Board found that SUPERSALT describes rather than suggests these characteristics of Applicant’s goods. and so it affirmed the refusal to register.

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TTABlogger comment: The mark will proceed to the Supplement Supplemental Register

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2022.


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