Monday, May 2, 2016

Yard House Attempts Register PINT NIGHT as a Trademark

"Pint Night" is a common phrase in the restaurant and bar industry. However, one restaurant is apparently trying to obtain the exclusive, nationwide right to use the term.

On April 27th, Yard House USA, Inc. filed a federal trademark application for the phrase PINT NIGHT. Yard House is part of the Darden group of restaurants, which also owns the Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, and Seasons 52, among others.
Yard House filed this trademark application in Class 041 for "[e]ntertainment services, namely, beverage tastings" and in Class 043 for "[r]estaurant and bar services." Both classes were filed on an intent-to-use basis.

Restaurant and bar owners - don't panic yet. I have a feeling this attempt to register PINT NIGHT as a trademark will not be successful.

It is well established that "[s]logans and other terms that are merely informational in nature, or common laudatory phrases or statements that would ordinarily be used in business or in the particular trade or industry, are not registrable." TMEP 1202.04. To make this determination, the Trademark Office will consider the commercial impression the mark makes on the relevant public. "The more commonly a phrase is used in everyday parlance, the less likely the public will use it to identify only one source and the less likely the phrase will be recognized by purchasers as a trademark or service mark." Id.

Is the phrase PINT NIGHT commonly used in restaurant and bar industry? Would the relevant public think PINT NIGHT specifically refers to a Yard House event or would they not associate the term with any specific bar or restaurant? 

Given the popularity of PINT NIGHT in the industry, I think Yard House will have an extremely difficult time attempting to register this phrase (or enforce it). Expect an Office Action to this effect when this application is assigned to an examining attorney within the next three months.

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