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Descriptive Trademark Cases

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TTAB Finds LIMITED Merely Descriptive for Sports Trading Cards

The USPTO's Trademark Trial & Appeal Board held that, given the nature of the collectible goods that are often sold in limited batches, the mark LIMITED for sports trading cards was merely descriptive and not entitled to registration. TTAB Case Background Both parties in this case, Panini American Inc. and the Topps Company, Inc., manufacture [...]

TTAB Descriptive Trademark Refusal: CURBSIDE DELIVERY Descriptive for Grocery Delivery Services

In re Phoenix Intangibles Holding Company, Serial No. 85849629 (November 7, 2014) [not precedential] The Trademark Trial & Appeal Board delivered their opinion affirming an Examining Attorney’s refusal of applicant’s mark CURBSIDE EXPRESS for “retail and on-line grocery store services featuring home delivery” on the grounds that the mark was “merely descriptive.” Under Section 2(e)(1) of the Lanham Act, a mark is “merely descriptive” if it conveys an “immediate idea of an ingredient, quality, characteristic, feature, function, purpose or use of the goods or services” in the context of the Applicant’s goods and services. The applicant Phoenix Intangible Holding Company argued that “it would take some imagination to associate … [CURBSIDE] with delivery services….” The Trademark Examiner, however, successfully argued that the phrase “curbside delivery” was a term of art in the delivery industry and that CURBSIDE EXPRESS merely described Phoenix’s goods. The Examiner presented evidence showing descriptions of several companies “curbside” delivery, showing that “curbside is a term of art in the delivery industry meaning delivering goods to a customer’s home, but not bringing them inside the home for the customer.” […]