David Lilenfeld Blog The intellectual property blog of David Lilenfeld

1Feb/160

Trademark Office Rules Dumbbells and Soccer Goals Unrelated

By David Lilenfeld on February 1, 2016

The Trademark Office reversed a Section 2 (d) refusal to register the trademark QUIK-CHANGE for dumbbell systems finding the trademark is not likely to cause confusion with the already registered trademark KWIK CHANGE for soccer goals. Plaintiff, Hoist Fitness System, applied to register the trademark QUIK-CHANGE for exercise equipment, mainly a dumbbell system with a handle, weights and a stand.

KWICK CHANGE soccer goal

KWICK CHANGE soccer goal

Quick-Change dumbbell system

Quick-Change dumbbell system

The Examining Attorney refused to register the trademark QUIK-CHANGE because the trademark was merely identical in appearance and would be found in the same sporting goods market as the trademark KWIK CHANGE. Applicant pointed out that the trademarks are spelled differently and that the equipment for soccer and weight training are different.

Although the Trademark Office agreed with the PTO that the trademarks have the same meaning and pronunciation, the Trademark Office recognized the trademark is on the Supplemental Register, which is an admission that the trademark is descriptive. The Trademark Office therefore took into consideration the descriptiveness of the trademark as well as the fact that the applicant’s trademark is at least suggestive of the fact that its weight is subject to change.

The Trademark Office also considered the issue of whether the goods are related and if they are related how closely they are related. The Board pointed out the intent-to-use applications and the non-use based registrations are not entitled to much weight. The most pertinent registrations are use-based registrations but these appear to be house marks. Even though they may show there is some relationship between sporting goods, it is hardly evidence that goods as different as soccer goals and dumbbells are closely related.

Just because goods are sold in the same stores or on the same websites does not prove that the goods are related. Soccer and exercise products can be sold on the same website like e-bay without demonstrating that the sources of the products are associated or related.

In conclusion, based on the nature of the trademarks and the fact that the goods are not closely related, the Trademark Office held that confusion was not likely between the trademark QUIK-CHANGE and the registered trademark KWIK CHANGE.

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