So, we’ll have to see whether saying it’s so makes it so, after we stir the pot a bit, of course.
Unlike the Virginia Brand example, however, the Kettle Brand potato chip packaging shown above displays the federal registration symbol too — in this case, after the word Kettle.
Yet, the federal registration symbol begs the question of whether it signifies registration on the Principal Register for distinctive marks or the Supplemental Register, the latter being reserved for non-disitnctive matter that is non-generic and capable of some day serving as a trademark.
As you may have suspected, the answer is, it depends. In this case, it depends on which registration from the Kettle Foods portfolio we’re speaking about, and on the goods covered by the registration in question, as Kettle Foods owns a number of registrations that consist of or include the term KETTLE, some reside on the Principal Register and some on the Supplemental.
In addition, whether the registrations disclose disclaimers also becomes relevant to the analysis of what Kettle Foods owns. For example, the two-word Kettle Brand trademark registration referenced and linked above from 2015 resides on the Supplemental Register and covers potato chips, corn chips, and popcorn, among other snack food items; the word Brand is disclaimed as generic, which means the USPTO believes that Kettle is merely descriptive, not yet distinctive.
One might ask then why Kettle Foods would “settle” for a Supplemental Registration in 2015 when it already had in the bag Principal Registrations for Kettle Brand for tortilla chips (disclaimer of Brand, not Kettle)? Better yet, why file an intent-to-use trademark application for the same mark — also covering tortilla chips — less than a year after the Principal Registration was maintained with the filing of a Section 8 & 15 Declaration?
What do you think, can Kettle and/or Kettle Brand actually serve as an effective brand name and trademark for potato chips, corn chips, and/or popcorn?