Little Caesars Fails To Prove Acquired Distinctiveness For DEEP!DEEP! DISH PIZZA Mark

The TTAB recently held that trademark applicants may rely on the “family of marks” doctrine to prove acquired distinctiveness for descriptive marks, but that LC Trademarks, Inc. had failed to establish acquired distinctiveness for its DEEP!DEEP! DISH PIZZA mark.

LC sought registration of its DEEP!DEEP! DISH PIZZA mark on the basis of Section 2(f), thereby conceding the mark’s descriptiveness.  Nevertheless, LC argued that its burden to establish acquired distinctiveness should be lower because DEEP!DEEP! DISH PIZZA is a unitary phrase that creates a commercial impression distinct from its individual component terms.  In particular, LC argued that the repetition of the word DEEP! creates a different commercial impression than the single word DEEP.  The Board disagreed, finding that the repetition served only as an intensifier, underscoring the highly descriptive nature of the term.  The Board’s decision was supported by numerous webpages submitted by the Examining Attorney demonstrating that “deep dish pizza” is a recognized type of pizza.  Continue reading

Amended TTAB Rules

New rules for the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) go into effect on January 14, 2017, aiming to provide more efficiency and streamlining of inter partes (oppositions, cancellations, and concurrent use) and ex parte appeal proceedings.  The rules apply to all proceedings active on January 14 and those subsequently filed.

Some of the key rules changes are summarized below.  Continue reading

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Library of Congress Seeks Input on Register of Copyrights Qualifications

In October 2016, the new Librarian of Congress dismissed the then-current Register of Copyrights and named an interim Register. On Friday, the Library of Congress announced that it is seeking public input regarding the qualifications the public would like considered during the search for a new Register. Comments may be provided through January 31, 2017 via an online survey found here. The Library specified that it is seeking comments regarding the knowledge, skills, and abilities for fulfilling the Register position. This initiative comes shortly after a December 8, 2016 announcement by the House Judiciary Committee that it is considering a proposal to split the Copyright Office from the Library of Congress.

 

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