Thursday, September 24, 2015

THE REDNECK GOLF CLUB Is Apparently in Florida

On September 18th, The Bluff's Golf Course, Inc. filed a federal trademark application for THE REDNECK GOLF CLUB as it relates to "[g]olf club services[.]" This golf course, located in Zolfo Springs, Florida, is attempting to solidify itself as "The Redneck Golf Club" by securing a nationwide monopoly over the term through this application. The course claims it has been using the term since July 2013.

Unfortunately, I see some issues with the specimen submitted. The specimen, seen below purports to show the mark as used on the course's Facebook page. The term is found in quotes in one post on the page. This is problematic.
An acceptable specimen for a servicemark (not a trademark for goods) is a specimen that (1) shows the mark and (2) demonstrates a direct association between the mark and services. TMEP 1301.04(f). 

When submitting websites as specimens, it is important that the mark be prominently displayed, usually in larger letters, and the services listed in the application are clearly listed on the website near or in conjunction with the mark. TMEP 1301.04(i) shows some examples of acceptable website specimens for services.

The specimen submitted by The Bluff's Golf Course only shows the mark used once in small font. The Trademark Offices likes to see trademarks that stand out, are found in large letters, and are found in places you would normally see a brand name on a webpage (at the top left, front and center, etc.). If this specimen was for THE BLUFFS GOLF COURSE, it would have a better chance of being acceptable.

Additionally, the Facebook page does not make clear references to the golf services provided under the mark. It can be inferred from the page, but a better specimen would show various prices, available tee times, and information regarding the course.

In sum, The Bluff's Golf Course may need to overcome this hurdle and show acceptable trademark use of THE REDNECK GOLF CLUB before it can truly claim to be "The Redneck Golf Club" of America. Does it really want that title though?

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