THEATL Descriptive for Atlanta Publications
As described in applicant's identification of goods, applicant's
publications feature, among other things, news and information "of interest to residents of and tourists and visitors to Atlanta, Georgia." Thus, at least one class of relevant purchasers for applicant's publications are residents of Atlanta and visitors to the Atlanta area, and we consider whether the mark is descriptive from the perspective of those consumers. See, e.g., In re Omaha National Corporation, supra (the descriptive meaning of FIRSTIER in the banking field would be understood at least by applicant's corporate customers, if not its individual customers).
The website evidence submitted by the examining attorney
shows, and applicant does not appear to dispute, that the term
THE ATL would be recognized by Atlanta residents and visitors to the city as a nickname for Atlanta. . . .It is clear from the evidence that THE ATL would be understood by the intended readers of applicant's publications as a nickname for the city of Atlanta. We also note that there is no evidence of record that THE ATL has another meaning or would be perceived as anything other than a reference to Atlanta.
Furthermore, the term THE ATL describes a significant feature or characteristic of applicant's publications. As identified, applicant's publications will feature, at least in part, news, activities, events and attractions "of interest to residents of and tourists and visitors to Atlanta, Georgia." Thus, when viewed in the context of applicant's goods, THE ATL would immediately and directly inform purchasers about the subject matter of
applicant's goods, namely news and information about Atlanta . . . .
Contrary to applicant's apparent contention, the fact that there is no evidence of use by others of THEATL as a single term does not compel a finding that the mark is not descriptive. It is not necessary that the evidence show use by others in the exact manner in which it is displayed as a mark. See In re SPX Corp., 63 USPQ2d 1592 (TTAB 2002). The point is that the evidence in this case shows use of the very combination of terms applicant is seeking to register. . . .
In view of the foregoing, we find that THEATL is the equivalent of THE ATL, a recognized nickname for Atlanta, and that the mark is merely descriptive of the subject matter of applicant's publications that feature news and information of interest to residents of and tourists and visitors to Atlanta.