TEQUILA Can Be Registered As a Certification Mark

On January 23, 2017, the TTAB dismissed Luxco, Inc.’s opposition to the registration of TEQUILA as a certification mark.

Trademark applicant Consejo Regulador del Tequila, A.C. is a Mexican industry group and is the only body accredited by the Mexican government to evaluate the Mexican Official Standards governing tequila. Since 2003, it has sought to register TEQUILA as a geographic certification mark to ensure that what is sold in the United States as Tequila adheres to the official Mexican standards.  Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

SpongeBob Restaurant Found To Infringe Viacom’s Trademark

On January 11, 2017, the Southern District of Texas granted Viacom International Inc. summary judgment on its trademark infringement claim against IJR Capital Investments, LLC’s name for its proposed restaurant, “The Krusty Krab.”

“The Krusty Krab” is a fictional restaurant that, since 1999, has appeared on Nickelodeon’s animated television series “SpongeBob SquarePants.” In response to IJR’s filing of an intent-to-use application for THE KRUSTY KRAB and preparations to use that mark in connection with restaurant services., Viacom sued alleging, among other things, trademark infringement and dilution.  Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Federal Circuit Reverses Refusal of DOTBLOG Mark

The Federal Circuit recently reversed the TTAB’s refusal to register the mark DOTBLOG, which the TTAB had found to be descriptive for Internet blog search services.

On the trademark distinctiveness spectrum, a mark is descriptive if it “immediately conveys knowledge of a quality, feature, function or characteristic of the goods or services with which it is used.”  Such marks do not function as source indicators and are refused registration unless they can be shown to have obtained secondary meaning in the minds of the consuming public.  On the other hand, a mark is suggestive (and does not a require a showing of secondary meaning) if it “requires imagination, thought and perception to reach a conclusion as to the nature of the goods.”   Continue reading