Tuesday, July 12, 2005

In re Steelbuilding.com on descriptive marks, secondary meaning

The case In re Steelbuilding.com presents a discussion of issues with generic and descriptive marks, and cites a number of useful earlier trademark cases, including Qualitex v. Jacobson, 514 US 159 (1995), In re Am. Fertility Society, 188 F.3d 1341 (CAFC 1999), and In re Oppedahl, 373 F.3d 1171 (CAFC 2004) and procedural cases, including In re Song Su Lee, 277 F.3d 1338 (CAFC 2002) and In re Thrift, 298 F.3d 1357 (CAFC 2002).

Here, the CAFC vacated as to generic but affirmed as to descriptive, lacking secondary meaning. There was a dissent on the latter point.

If you're looking to register a mark that is in the generic/descriptive range, this case is a helpful read.


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