Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Does TM Registration Provide Priority for All Items Within the Class?

Dear Rich: Does a trademark registration grant the right to use a trademark only for the specific goods  or for any/all goods within the category? For example, does a registration in Class 9 for an app give the trademark owner exclusive rights for everything in Class 9? No, registration in a  trademark class doesn't guarantee exclusive rights for all the goods and services in that class. For example, we counted over a dozen different companies who had registered the mark "EAGLE" in Class 9 for products ranging from fatigue monitoring devices to business software for inventory management. The principal issue for a trademark examiner is whether consumers are likely to be confused between the two similar marks. As the USPTO advises examiners, "[I]f the goods or services in question are not related or marketed in such a way that they would be encountered by the same persons in situations that would create the incorrect assumption that they originate from the same source, then, even if the marks are identical, confusion is not likely."