|To:||Bread Beauty Inc. (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Subject:||U.S. Trademark Application Serial No. 88791866 - BREAD - 11234-3|
|Sent:||April 28, 2020 06:44:02 PM|
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United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)
Office Action (Official Letter) About Applicant’s Trademark Application
U.S. Application Serial No. 88791866
Applicant: Bread Beauty Inc.
Reference/Docket No. 11234-3
Correspondence Email Address:
NONFINAL OFFICE ACTION
The USPTO must receive applicant’s response to this letter within six months of the issue date below or the application will be abandoned. Respond using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). A link to the appropriate TEAS response form appears at the end of this Office action.
Issue date: April 28, 2020
The referenced application has been reviewed by the assigned trademark examining attorney. Applicant must respond timely and completely to the issue below. 15 U.S.C. §1062(b); 37 C.F.R. §§2.62(a), 2.65(a); TMEP §§711, 718.03.
Registration of the applied-for mark is refused because of a likelihood of confusion with the mark in U.S. Registration No. 4459754 (BANH 1967). Trademark Act Section 2(d), 15 U.S.C. §1052(d); see TMEP §§1207.01 et seq. See the attached registration.
Trademark Act Section 2(d) bars registration of an applied-for mark that is so similar to a registered mark that it is likely consumers would be confused, mistaken, or deceived as to the commercial source of the goods of the parties. See 15 U.S.C. §1052(d). Likelihood of confusion is determined on a case-by-case basis by applying the factors set forth in In re E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 476 F.2d 1357, 1361, 177 USPQ 563, 567 (C.C.P.A. 1973) (called the “du Pont factors”). In re i.am.symbolic, llc, 866 F.3d 1315, 1322, 123 USPQ2d 1744, 1747 (Fed. Cir. 2017). Any evidence of record related to those factors need be considered; however, “not all of the DuPont factors are relevant or of similar weight in every case.” In re Guild Mortg. Co., 912 F.3d 1376, 1379, 129 USPQ2d 1160, 1162 (Fed. Cir. 2019) (quoting In re Dixie Rests., Inc., 105 F.3d 1405, 1406, 41 USPQ2d 1531, 1533 (Fed. Cir. 1997)).
Although not all du Pont factors may be relevant, there are generally two key considerations in any likelihood of confusion analysis: (1) the similarities between the compared marks and (2) the relatedness of the compared goods. See In re i.am.symbolic, llc, 866 F.3d at 1322, 123 USPQ2d at 1747 (quoting Herbko Int’l, Inc. v. Kappa Books, Inc., 308 F.3d 1156, 1164-65, 64 USPQ2d 1375, 1380 (Fed. Cir. 2002)); Federated Foods, Inc. v. Fort Howard Paper Co.,544 F.2d 1098, 1103, 192 USPQ 24, 29 (C.C.P.A. 1976) (“The fundamental inquiry mandated by [Section] 2(d) goes to the cumulative effect of differences in the essential characteristics of the goods [or services] and differences in the marks.”); TMEP §1207.01.
Comparison of the Marks
The applied-for mark is: BREAD
The registered mark is: BANH 1967
Notably, applicant’s mark and registrant’s mark share the similar wording BREAD and BANH, which has the direct and literal translation of BREAD, in each of their respective marks. Although marks are compared in their entireties, one feature of a mark may be more significant or dominant in creating a commercial impression. See In re Detroit Athletic Co., 903 F.3d 1297, 1305, 128 USPQ2d 1047, 1050 (Fed. Cir. 2018) (citing In re Dixie Rests., 105 F.3d 1405, 1407, 41 USPQ2d 1531, 1533-34 (Fed. Cir. 1997)); TMEP §1207.01(b)(viii), (c)(ii). Greater weight is often given to this dominant feature when determining whether marks are confusingly similar. See In re Detroit Athletic Co., 903 F.3d at 1305, 128 USPQ2d at 1050 (citing In re Dixie Rests., 105 F.3d at 1407, 41 USPQ2d at 1533-34).
Under the doctrine of foreign equivalents, a mark in a common, modern foreign language and a mark that is its English equivalent may be held confusingly similar. TMEP §1207.01(b)(vi); see, e.g., In re Aquamar, Inc., 115 USPQ2d 1122, 1127-28 (TTAB 2015); In re Thomas, 79 USPQ2d 1021, 1025 (TTAB 2006). Consequently, marks comprised of foreign wording are translated into English to determine similarity in meaning and connotation with English word marks. See Palm Bay Imps., Inc. v. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Maison Fondee en 1772, 396 F.3d 1369, 1377, 73 USPQ2d 1689, 1696 (Fed. Cir. 2005). Equivalence in meaning and connotation may be sufficient to find such marks confusingly similar. See In re Aquamar, Inc., 115 USPQ2d at 1127-28; In re Thomas, 79 USPQ2d at 1025.
The registrant’s mark is in Vietnamese, which is a common, modern language in the United States.
The doctrine is applied when “the ordinary American purchaser” would “stop and translate” the foreign term into its English equivalent. Palm Bay, 396 F.3d at 1377, 73 USPQ2d at 1696 (quoting In re Pan Tex Hotel Corp., 190 USPQ 109, 110 (TTAB 1976)); TMEP §1207.01(b)(vi)(A). The ordinary American purchaser includes those proficient in the foreign language. In re Spirits Int’l, N.V., 563 F.3d 1347, 1352, 90 USPQ2d 1489, 1492 (Fed. Cir. 2009); see In re Thomas, 79 USPQ2d at 1024.
In this case, the ordinary American purchaser would likely stop and translate the mark because the Vietnamese language is a common, modern language spoken by an appreciable number of consumers in the United States.
Consumers are generally more inclined to focus on the first word, prefix, or syllable in any trademark or service mark. See Palm Bay Imps., Inc. v. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Maison Fondee En 1772, 396 F.3d 1369, 1372, 73 USPQ2d 1689, 1692 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (finding similarity between VEUVE ROYALE and two VEUVE CLICQUOT marks in part because “VEUVE . . . remains a ‘prominent feature’ as the first word in the mark and the first word to appear on the label”); Century 21 Real Estate Corp. v. Century Life of Am., 970 F.2d 874, 876, 23 USPQ2d 1698, 1700 (Fed Cir. 1992) (finding similarity between CENTURY 21 and CENTURY LIFE OF AMERICA in part because “consumers must first notice th[e] identical lead word”); see also In re Detroit Athletic Co., 903 F.3d 1297, 1303, 128 USPQ2d 1047, 1049 (Fed. Cir. 2018) (finding “the identity of the marks’ two initial words is particularly significant because consumers typically notice those words first”). In this case the first wording in the applied-for mark and the cited registration is the wording BREAD and its foreign equivalent BANH therefore, it is the dominant wording in both marks and it is identical in meaning and commercial impression.
Further, disclaimed matter that is descriptive of or generic for a party’s goods is typically less significant or less dominant when comparing marks. In re Detroit Athletic Co., 903 F.3d 1297, 1305, 128 USPQ2d 1047, 1050 (Fed. Cir. 2018) (citing In re Dixie Rests., Inc., 105 F.3d 1405, 1407, 41 USPQ2d 1531, 1533-34 (Fed. Cir. 1997)); TMEP §1207.01(b)(viii), (c)(ii). In the cited registration the additional wording of 1967 is disclaimed in the registration. Thus, this wording is less significant in terms of affecting the mark’s commercial impression and renders the wording BANH the more dominant element in the mark.
In sum, for the foregoing reasons, the marks are confusingly similar.
Comparison of the Goods
The compared goods need not be identical or even competitive to find a likelihood of confusion. See On-line Careline Inc. v. Am. Online Inc., 229 F.3d 1080, 1086, 56 USPQ2d 1471, 1475 (Fed. Cir. 2000); Recot, Inc. v. Becton, 214 F.3d 1322, 1329, 54 USPQ2d 1894, 1898 (Fed. Cir. 2000); TMEP §1207.01(a)(i). They need only be “related in some manner and/or if the circumstances surrounding their marketing are such that they could give rise to the mistaken belief that [the goods] emanate from the same source.” Coach Servs., Inc. v. Triumph Learning LLC, 668 F.3d 1356, 1369, 101 USPQ2d 1713, 1722 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (quoting 7-Eleven Inc. v. Wechsler, 83 USPQ2d 1715, 1724 (TTAB 2007)); TMEP §1207.01(a)(i).
The applicant’s identified goods are: “Hair care preparations; hair styling preparations; hair cleaning preparations; hair shampoo; hair conditioners; hair texturizers; cosmetic preparations for the hair; hair coloring preparations; hair oils”
The registrant’s identified goods are: “Bar soap; Bath soaps; Bath soaps in liquid, solid or gel form”
The attached Internet evidence establishes that the same entity commonly manufactures the relevant goods and markets the goods under the same mark and the relevant goods are sold or provided through the same trade channels and used by the same classes of consumers in the same fields of use. Thus, applicant’s and registrant’s goods are considered related for likelihood of confusion purposes. See, e.g., In re Davey Prods. Pty Ltd., 92 USPQ2d 1198, 1202-04 (TTAB 2009); In re Toshiba Med. Sys. Corp., 91 USPQ2d 1266, 1268-69, 1271-72 (TTAB 2009).
The foregoing demonstrates that a consumer familiar with registrant’s mark used on registrant’s goods, upon encountering applicant’s mark used on applicant’s goods would likely be confused and mistakenly believe that the goods emanate from a common source. Therefore, registration is refused under Section 2(d) of the Lanham Act.
Although applicant’s mark has been refused registration, applicant may respond to the refusal by submitting evidence and arguments in support of registration.
Please call or email the assigned trademark examining attorney with questions about this Office action. Although an examining attorney cannot provide legal advice, the examining attorney can provide additional explanation about the refusal(s) and/or requirement(s) in this Office action. See TMEP §§705.02, 709.06.
The USPTO does not accept emails as responses to Office actions; however, emails can be used for informal communications and are included in the application record. See 37 C.F.R. §§2.62(c), 2.191; TMEP §§304.01-.02, 709.04-.05. .
How to respond. Click to file a response to this nonfinal Office action.
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