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Archived updates for Friday, September 02, 2005

TRAFFIC LAW CENTER Registrable for Legal Services

According to John Welch at the TTABlog, the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board gave Applicant Robin Sullivan the green light to register the mark TRAFFIC LAW CENTER for "legal services." It reversed the PTO's Section 2(e)(1) mere descriptiveness refusal, finding that the mark has acquired secondary meaning, but also required disclaimer of the generic term "traffic law." In re Sullivan, Serial No. 76202254 (August 18, 2005) [not citable].

Welch writes that the Applicant proved use of the mark since 1989, providing services to more than 110,400 clients and garnering revenues of more than $20 million in the 1990-2002 period. He also spent more than $3 million in advertising during roughly the same period and prominently displays the designation TRAFFIC LAW CENTER at his various locations:

The Board rejected the PTO's poSition that the mark is "highly descriptive" and therefore must meet a heightened 2(f) standard of proof. The Board also found that each of the "several other lawyers or law firms around the country" use TRAFFIC LAW CENTER in rendering their services in "a proprietary manner, i.e., as a trade name or service mark, not use in a descriptive manner." Still, the Applicant's own usage of "traffic law" in his appeal briefs and his license agreement led to this portion of the mark requiring a disclaimer.

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October 01, 2005 11:18 AM  

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