Acquired Distinctiveness

‘Tis the season for gratitude and thankfulness, and avoiding conflict and fruitcake.

From a trademark perspective, every season is for avoiding genericness, right?

After all, generic designations are part of the public domain, they aren’t own-able.

So, why is Guaranteed Rate continuing to invest in Rate.com, found to be generic

When thinking about brands comprising religious matter, I think of EZEKIEL 4:9.

The EZEKIEL 4:9 brand has been registered as a trademark for bread since 1990.

The brand owner had to clear some chaff from the Principal Register to do so, threshing this EZEKIEL as abandoned, and gaining this EZEKIEL by assignment.

It presently

Now that we’re back in the blogging business, I’m anxious to be able to harvest some visual trademark stories captured on my iPhone over the past 7 months:

Are you surprised to see the federal registration symbol marking World’s Softest?

After all, the phrase seems to communicate important information about the socks in question, as

Let’s all hope that the Supplemental Trademark Register is not on the death watch.

It appears though to be on life support, at times, and especially with the USPTO’s heightened focus on “merely informational” matter, including laudatory messages.

This is a common basis for registration refusal nowadays: “Merely informational matter fails to function as a

We’ve been writing about the COKE ZERO trademark for nearly a decade now, noting in 2014:

“[I]t will be worth watching to see whether the [TTAB] finds that ‘ZERO’ primarily means Coke or just a soft drink having ‘no calories, you know, a drink about nothing . . . .’”

Turns out, in May

These lime green building sites caught my eye and jogged my trademark memory. First, the future home of the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, at beam signing, on May 4, 2018:

Second, the expansion of the Metro Transit headquarters near downtown Minneapolis, on June 12:

Of course, the obviously common element of