David Lilenfeld Blog The intellectual property blog of David Lilenfeld


TENNIS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION is Generic and Therefore Not a Trademark, Says TTAB

By David Lilenfeld on February 18, 2016

Tennis Industry Association applied to register TENNIS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION as a trademark for informational services related to tennis. On administrative appeal, the applicant argued the Trademark Office failed to provide clear and convincing evidence needed to support its genericness refusal.

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board disagreed with the applicant, expressing concern consumers would perceive the trademark as a generic name for tennis services.  Trademark Trial and Appeal Board also found a lack of support for applicant’s assertion that Tennis Industry Association had acquired distinctiveness.

A trademark is generic if it merely refers to a category of goods or services in which it is used. Initially, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found the genus of services to be adequately defined by applicant’s explanation of services: “association services, namely, promoting the interests of tennis facilities, tennis manufacturers, tennis retailers and tennis court contractors; providing market research services to track the economic vitality of the tennis industry.”

Then the TTAB looked to determine whether the phrase TENNIS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION is understood by relevant consumers to refer to that genus of services. The phrase should be examined under the American Fertility approach. This approach deems the dictionary definition of words not sufficient to support a finding of genericness. Rather, the phrase as a whole must be used to refer to the genus of services.

The examining attorney found five examples from the Lexis/Nexis database and Internet websites, using the term "tennis industry association" in lower case letters in a way that did not appear to indicate source in any particular entity. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found that the PTO failed to meet its burden of establishing by clear evidence that the phrase TENNIS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION as a whole is generic.

Applicant purported that TENNIS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION is not generic but rather has acquired distinctiveness under Section 2 (f). The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board recognized that a highly descriptive trademark is less likely to be perceived as a trademark and thus will require more substantial evidence to establish its distinctiveness. Applicant relied upon use of the trademark TENNIS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION since 1974, a 2009 press release, a 2008 annual report and 499 Westlaw articles. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found the Westlaw articles not to be compelling for a variety of reasons. The record contained little direct evidence that relevant consumers view the phrase TENNIS INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION as a source indicator.

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board reversed the refusal under Section 2 (e) (1) on the ground that the trademark is so highly descriptive as to be generic. However, the PTO affirmed the refusal under Section 2 (e) (1) because the trademark is merely descriptive since the applicant failed to show the trademark has acquired distinctiveness.

Comments (9894) Trackbacks (134)
  1. You said it adequately..
    should college essays be double spaced dissertation writing customer service writing

  2. Thanks. Very good stuff!
    canadian pharmacies that are legit buy prescription drugs canada canadian family pharmacy

  3. cialis generico sicuro
    where to buy viagra
    cialis prescription us Nem dah

  4. I read this piece of writing fully on the topic of the resemblance
    of hottest and earlier technologies, it’s awesome article.

  5. viagra ovral soluble film
    viagra coupons cvs
    viagra age

  6. It’s hard to find knowledgeable people for this subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

  7. how long are viagra pills good for?
    how fast does x5 effective viagra work

  8. Regards. Great information.
    how to write a short essay custom papers custom writings plagiarism

  9. Perfectly voiced of course! ! canada pharmacies/account cvs online pharmacy canadian pharmacies without prescriptions

  10. Fantastic forum posts. Kudos.
    canada online pharmacies cheap viagra online canadian pharmacy

  11. I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your information. This article has truly peaked my interest.
    I’m going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new information about once
    per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well. http://cleckleyfloors.com/

  12. Superb stuff. Thanks a lot.
    canadian pharmacy viagra trust pharmacy canada

  13. Hi to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of this website; this blog carries amazing and
    actually good material in support of visitors.

  14. Thanks! Awesome information.

  15. Tusibron]) No municipality devise excursions your alcoholic jeopardy fail having. cialis canadian pharmacy I horror you take Tentex Speaking does generic viagra accomplishment

  16. I don’t know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody else encountering problems with your site.

    It seems like some of the written text on your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please
    provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as well?
    This might be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this
    happen previously. Many thanks

  17. I simply couldn’t go away your web site before suggesting that
    I really enjoyed the standard information a person provide in your visitors?
    Is going to be back incessantly to investigate cross-check
    new posts

  18. I for all time emailed this web site post page to all my associates, for the reason that if like
    to read it then my contacts will too.

  19. Excellent facts. Regards! rutgers essay help thesis help online graduate dissertation

  20. You actually suggested this superbly.

  21. Rayjtk uwpomi cialis price to single out your unyielding and treatment is the thrombus.

  22. canadian online pharmacy https://canadiantrypharmacy.com – british pharmacies shipping to usa

  23. You stated it very well.

  24. Seriously lots of excellent material. writing a good essay help thesis dissertion meaning

  25. best erectile dysfunction medication erectile dysfunction pills

  26. canada pharmacy http://viaciabox.com – list of approved canadian pharmacies canadian pharmacies

  27. You actually suggested it effectively!

  28. Thanks! Ample info.
    custom writing essays services writing paper essay websites

  29. Many thanks! Terrific stuff. how long should a college essay be https://scoringessays.com help writing dissertation proposal

  30. Kudos, A lot of information.
    college essay for sale help dissertation help with thesis

  31. viagra super active uk
    buy viagra from boots
    buying pfizer viagra from mexico Nem dah

  32. best place to order generic cialis
    where to buy viagra locally
    tadalafil 20mg australia laws Nem dah

  33. can you really order viagra online
    buy viagra online with echecks
    tinidazole tindamax buy Nem dah

Leave a comment


Go to top ↑