Tuesday, April 16, 2019

A Bumble Beer? Dating App Company Files Application to Register BUMBLE BREW as a Trademark for Beer, Many Other Goods and Services

The company behind the popular dating app Bumble, Bumble Holding Limited, may be coming out with a beer, if a recent trademark application is any indication.
On April 11, Bumble Holding Limited filed an application to register BUMBLE BREW as a trademark for "beer" (and several other goods and services) with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Does this mean the dating app company is releasing a beer called BUMBLE BREW? Maybe. The company filed this application on an intent-to-use basis, which is supposed to mean the company is not using the BUMBLE BREW trademark to sell beer yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b). The company is by no means obligated to start selling BUMBLE BREW beer, but a failure to use the trademark with those goods will result in the entire application going dead (if Bumble does not submit proper evidence of use on a timely basis or does not delete any goods/services it no longer intends to provide from the application).

Interestingly, the BUMBLE BREW application doesn't only cover "beer." It covers a large variety of goods and services across 14 different classes, including the following:
  • Computer software for the booking of bars, restaurants and accommodation; computer software for the ordering of food and drink (Class 9);
  • Whips, harness and saddlery (Class 18);
  • Meat, fish, poultry and game (Class 29);
  • Coffee, tea, cocoa and artificial coffee (Class 30);
  • Alcoholic beverages (except beers); wine; cider (Class 33);
  • Restaurant, bar and catering services (Class 43); and
  • Internet based dating services (Class 45).
Perhaps Bumble is considering a Bumble-themed brew pub or restaurant? Pay attention to this application to find out.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Travis Scott Files Applications to Register His Name as a Trademark

Or, more accurately, his corporation. On March 27, LaFlame Enterprises, Inc. filed the first ever applications to register TRAVIS SCOTT as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Jacques Bermon Webster II, aka Travis Scott, is apparently the president of Laflame Enterprises, Inc.
The two applications, one of which was filed on an intent-to-use basis, cover a variety of goods and services you might expect from a rapper, songwriter, singer, and record producer. The goods and services covered by the in use application (meaning these goods and services are apparently already being provided under the TRAVIS SCOTT trademark) are:
  • Audio and video recordings, namely, digital audio and video files downloadable from the Internet, audio and audio video tapes and discs, CDs, DVDs, laser discs, and phonograph records, all featuring music and artistic performances; downloadable musical sound recordings and ringtones; downloadable video recordings featuring music; sunglasses and sunglass cases; protective covers and cases for cell phones, laptops and portable media players (Class 9);
  • Paper goods, namely, posters, prints, decals, temporary tattoo transfers, stickers, printed tickets, photographs, event programs; calendars; postcards (Class 16);
  • Clothing, namely, t-shirts, shirts, long-sleeved shirts, polo shirts, hooded shirts, sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts, jerseys, shorts, sweat pants, jackets, scarves, pajamas, robes, boxer shorts, boxer briefs, underwear, head bands, wrist bands as clothing, swimsuits, skirts, dresses, bras, cardigans, blouses, tank tops, pants, coats, sweaters, leg warmers, socks, belts; footwear, namely, shoes, athletic shoes, slippers, boots, sandals; headwear, namely, hats, visors, beanies and caps (Class 25); and
  • Entertainment services, namely, conducting entertainment exhibitions in the nature of live musical performance tours and music festivals; entertainment services, namely, presentation of live and on-line non-downloadable video in the nature of show performances featuring music and musical performances; planning, arranging, organizing and conducting of shows and tours featuring musical performances; entertainment in the nature of live performances by a musical artist, musical group and musical band; entertainment in the nature of live visual and audio performances by a musical artist, musical group and musical band; entertainment services, namely, providing a web site featuring non-downloadable musical performances, musical videos, related film clips, photographs, and other multimedia materials featuring music and entertainment; fan club services; providing a website featuring entertainment information regarding musical groups, musicians, musical sound recordings, music videos, tour schedules, music performance ticket information and music; entertainment in the nature of live traveling tours by a professional entertainer, musical group and musical band featuring music (Class 41).
The goods and services covered by the intent-to-use TRAVIS SCOTT application (those which are not apparently being offered under the TRAVIS SCOTT trademark yet but LaFlame Enterprises has a bona fide intention to provide in the near future) are:
  • Jewelry; clocks and watches; key chains; jewelry, namely, dog tags for wear by humans for decorative purposes; jewelry cases; boxes for timepieces (Class 14);
  • Bags; backpacks; umbrellas; carrying cases; canes; purses and wallets; dog apparel; luggage (Class 18); and
  • Cups; coffee cups; plates; bowls; lunchboxes; water bottles sold empty; bottle openers (Class 21).
According to my quick search, these are the first ever federal trademark applications filed by LaFlame Enterprises, Inc. and the first trademark applications for TRAVIS SCOTT filed by anyone.

It is not uncommon for celebrities and athletes to register their names as trademarks for the goods and services they provide under their name. For example, I've blogged about applications filed by Baker Mayfield, Conor McGregor, Amy Schumer, and Crissy Teigen in the past. 

Notably missing from the TRAVIS SCOTT trademark applications, however, is Jacques Bermon Webster II's written consent to register his stage name as a trademark. Section 2(c) of the Trademark Act prohibits the registration of a trademark that consists of or comprises a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual except by his/her written consent. That includes stage names. TMEP 1206.01. LaFlame Enterprises will need to provide that written consent before these marks can be registered.

Quarterly Index (1/1/19 - 3/31/19)

Entertainment Trademark Filings:
Food and Drink Trademark Filings:
Other Unique Trademark Filings:

Friday, March 8, 2019

A PBR Seltzer? Maybe, According to Pabst Brewing Company's Recent Trademark Applications

The company behind the beer previously (or still?) known for being a favorite among hipsters may be moving into the trendy alcoholic seltzer business if recent trademark applications are any indication.
On March 4, Pabst Brewing Company, LLC filed applications to register PABST BLUE RIBBON STRONGER SELTZER and STRONGER SELTZER as trademarks for "alcoholic beverages, namely, hard seltzer" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The brewing company filed both applications on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting it is not currently using these marks to sell the listed goods but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. 15 USC 1051(b); TMEP 806.01(b).

These are the only two active trademark applications or registrations for a seltzer owned by Pabst Brewing Company, LLC. Back in April 2016, the company filed an application for GILTY SELTZER covering "hard seltzer [and] hard cider" but it was refused registration due to GILT BAR, an existing registration covering bar and restaurant services. Pabst never responded to the refusal and the application went dead.

Will we see a PBR seltzer this summer? We just might. And for whiskey fans, apparently PBR recently announced it's getting into the whiskey business too.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Recent Trademark Applications Suggest Allegiant Travel Company May Be Expanding Well Outside the Airline Industry

Recent federal trademark applications suggest discount airline Allegiant may be getting into the restaurant and entertainment center business (and into several other businesses).
On March 1, Allegiant Travel Company (the parent company of Allegiant airlines) filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register ALLEGIANT NONSTOP as a trademark for:
  • Entertainment and recreation services, namely, providing amusement and recreation center facilities with an aviation theme (Class 41); and
  • Casual restaurants with an aviation theme featuring American cuisine (Class 43)
On that same day, Allegiant Travel Company filed another application for PLAYNONSTOP covering the following:
  • Providing a website featuring issuing stored value cards for use at entertainment centers (Class 36); and
  • Providing a website featuring booking and reservation services for birthday parties at entertainment centers (Class 41)
Interestingly, these are not the first federal trademark applications outside of the airline industry filed by Allegiant Travel Company recently. Since July 2018, the company has filed applications for:
  • GOLFSEEKER for "Entertainment services, namely, providing golf course and golf club facilities; and entertainment in the nature of golf tournaments"
  • ZEN 4CE for "Providing recreational areas in the nature of quiet lounges"
  • 4CE'D ESCAPE for "Entertainment services in the nature of escape room attractions"
  • GRIP N ROLL for "Providing bowling alleys"
  • JUNIOR G'S for "Providing recreational areas in the nature of play areas for children"
  • G-PRIX for "Rental of go-karts"
  • DARK 4CE for "Providing facilities and equipment for playing laser tag games"
  • SUNSUITES for "Hotel and resort hotel services"
Do the trademark applications mean Allegiant is definitely going into these various fields? Not exactly. Allegiant filed each application on an intent-to-use basis, suggesting it is not using these marks to provide the listed services yet but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future. 15 USC 1051(b); TMEP 806.01(b). Before these marks can register, Allegiant must start using them to render the listed services and submit sufficient proof of such use to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. See TMEP 1103. It is not required to start using the marks, however.

In any event, it looks like Allegiant may have big plans to expand outside the airline industry.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Czech Small Arms Company Files Application to Register CZECH SMALL ARMS as a Trademark For Firearms

On February 6, Czech Small Arms, s.r.o., a company organized in the Czech Republic, filed an application to register CZECH SMALL ARMS as a trademark for "Firearms" in Class 13 with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. According to the application, Czech Small Arms has used CZECH SMALL ARMS as a trademark for firearms since January 2010. The specimen submitted with the application, which is submitted to prove use of the trademark in commerce, is below.
But is the trademark primarily geographically descriptive, meaning the USPTO must refuse to register it under Section 2(e)(2) of the Trademark Act unless it has acquired distinctiveness?

To establish, at least initially, that a mark is primarily geographically descriptive, the examining attorney at the USPTO must show:
  1. the primary significance of the mark is a generally known geographic location;
  2. the goods or services originate in the place identified in the mark; and
  3. purchasers would be likely to believe that the goods or services originate in the geographic place identified in the mark.
TMEP 1210.01(a).

Is the Czech Republic a generally known geographic location? Do the firearms originate there? Are consumers likely to believe the firearms originate from the Czech Republic? If the answer to these questions is yes, Czech Small Arms will have a difficult time registering this trademark (on the Principal Register, which affords the most legal benefits, at least).

An applicant can get a primarily geographically descriptive trademark registered on the Principal Register only if it can show the mark has acquired distinctiveness under Section 2(f) of the Trademark Act. Generally, a mark acquires distinctiveness when the consuming public recognizes that the goods sold under the mark are produced by a particular manufacturer, as opposed to simply perceiving the trademark as a geographically descriptive designation. 

Sometimes a mark is presumed to have acquired distinctiveness if the applicant can show substantially exclusive and continuous use of the mark for at least five years. TMEP 1212.05. Otherwise, the applicant must submit substantial evidence to prove the mark has acquired distinctiveness. TMEP 1212.06.

If an applicant cannot prove acquired distinctiveness, it can settle for a registration on the Supplemental Register. TMEP 1210.07(a). In some cases, however, a term may be so geographically descriptive that it is deemed incapable of identifying the source of the products, and thus does not function as a trademark and cannot be registered at all. Id; see also Bee Pollen from Eng. Ltd., 219 USPQ 163 (TTAB 1983) (finding BEE POLLEN FROM ENGLAND incapable of distinguishing bee pollen from England).

What do you think? Is CZECH SMALL ARMS primarily geographically descriptive of the underlying goods? If so, do you think the CZECH SMALL ARMS mark is well-known enough so that it might be registered on the Principal Register with a Section 2(f) claim? Or is the mark too geographically descriptive to even be registered on the Supplemental Register? 

We'll see what the examining attorney at the USPTO thinks in approximately three to four months when this application is reviewed.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Is TEXAS PRISON WEDDINGS Merely Descriptive of Officiating...Texas Prison Weddings?

On February 4, an individual in Texas filed an application to register the words TEXAS PRISON WEDDINGS as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. According to the application, the mark has been in use since December 20, 2015. A specimen submitted with the application, which covers "Providing wedding officiant services" in Class 45, is below.
But is TEXAS PRISON WEDDINGS merely descriptive of "providing wedding officiant services"? If so, the USPTO must refuse registration under Section 2(e)(1) of the Trademark Act (unless the mark has acquired distinctiveness).

According to TMEP 1209.01(b), a mark is merely descriptive if "it describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose, or use of the specified goods or services." This determination involves "consideration of the context in which the mark is used..." Id. An examining attorney at the USPTO can look to sources like "websites, publications, labels, packages, advertising material, and explanatory text on specimens for the goods and services" to determine whether the mark is descriptive. Id. In sum, if a mark "immediately conveys knowledge of a quality, feature, function, or characteristic of an applicant’s goods or services," it is merely descriptive. Id.

So does the term TEXAS PRISON WEDDINGS immediately describe or convey knowledge of a quality, feature, function, or characteristic of the applicant's services, which are wedding officiant services directed towards Texas prisons, according to the specimen?

If the answer is yes, the applicant will need to (1) overcome the refusal by submitting arguments as to why the term isn't descriptive, (2) convince the USPTO that TEXAS PRISON WEDDINGS has acquired distinctiveness and is therefore eligible for registration on the Principal Register (extremely difficult to do, especially when the mark is less than five years old), (3) amend the application to the Supplemental Register, or (4) let the application lapse.

What do you think?