TMEP 1209.03(j): Phonetic Equivalent

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1209.03(j)    Phonetic Equivalent

A slight misspelling of a word will not turn a descriptive or generic word into a non-descriptive mark. See In re Calphalon Corp., 122 USPQ2d 1153, 1164 (TTAB 2017) (holding SHARPIN, the phonetic equivalent of "sharpen," merely descriptive of knife blocks with built-in sharpeners); In re ING Direct Bancorp, 100 USPQ2d 1681, 1690 (TTAB 2011) (holding PERSON2PERSON PAYMENT generic for direct electronic funds transfers including electronic payment services between individuals); In re Carlson, 91 USPQ2d 1198, 1203 (TTAB 2009) (holding URBANHOUZING, in standard character form, would be perceived by consumers as the equivalent of the descriptive term URBAN HOUSING, rather than as including the separate word ZING); In re Ginc UK Ltd., 90 USPQ2d 1472, 1475 (TTAB 2007) ("The generic meaning of "togs" not overcome by the misspelling of the term as TOGGS..."); In re Hubbard Milling Co., 6 USPQ2d 1239 (TTAB 1987) (holding MINERAL-LYX generic for mineral licks for feeding livestock); C-Thru Ruler Co. v. Needleman, 190 USPQ 93 (E.D. Pa. 1976) (holding C-THRU to be the equivalent of "see-through" and, therefore, merely descriptive of transparent rulers and drafting aids).