Combing through the USPTO’s recently approved non-verbal trademark registrations revealed this little gem with Francis Ford Coppola’s name on the label (but not claimed as part of the mark):
Here is the USPTO drawing on the left, showing the claimed mark without any words or colors:
So, besides claiming a broader scope of rights in a non-verbal product container that isn’t limited by any words, I’m thinking that by excluding the label from the claimed mark, and focusing on the shape of the bottle, Mr. Coppola’s project also could avoid a registration conflict with another Gia wine brand that is federally-registered and appears to have priority over the Coppola product by a year and a half — this one on the right is an Italian Pinot Grigio:
Remember my last post discussing the difference between likelihood of confusion as to the question of federal registration at the USPTO and likelihood of confusion as to whether or not use can and should be enjoined for purposes of trademark infringement?
Do you suppose that Mr. Coppola’s team of lawyers know the difference?
Does this example not provide a visual case for illustrating the difference between the right to register and the right to use?
I’m not saying there isn’t infringement here, there might be, you’d have to see how the evidence played out, but you don’t need to see any more than the prior registration for GIA wine to know that there is no room for another GIA mark for wine on the Principal Trademark Register at the USPTO.
But, what if the applied-for mark were FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA GIA for wine, is there room on the shelf for that one at the USPTO?