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Beware Proper Name Abbreviations

Wed, 7 Feb 2007 10:29:00 EST

In a precedential decision, the TTAB ruled in favour of the Opposer in BARBARA'S BAKERY, INC. vs BARB'S BUNS BAKERY, INC. Besides the similarity of names, both marks had the same listed goods. On top of this, Barbara's was deemed a "strong mark" due to its renown in the health food industry. With all of this stacked up against the Opposed, Barb's Buns was deemed likely to confuse.

"Non-use: The Board noted that, in a Section 1(a) application registration is allowed only as to the goods upon which the mark was in use as of the application filing date. [Opposer did not plead a fraud claim]. Applicant's discovery responses confirmed that she had not used her mark on 'printed recipes sold as a component of food packaging,' that as to 'recipe books' in Class 16, her delivery of a 'virtual cookbook' via e-mail did not qualify as use, and that any use on newsletters was discontinued more than six years prior to the filing date. Therefore the Board sustained the opposition on the ground of non-use."

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