TMEP 1209.03(o): “National,” “International,” “Global,” and “Worldwide”

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1209.03(o)    “National,” “International,” “Global,” and “Worldwide”

The terms “NATIONAL” and “INTERNATIONAL” have been held to be merely descriptive of services that are nationwide or international in scope. See In re Chamber of Commerce of the U.S., 675 F.3d 1297, 102 USPQ2d 1217 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (NATIONAL CHAMBER merely descriptive of nationwide online directory services featuring information regarding local and state chambers of commerce and business and regulatory data analysis services for nationally promoting the interests of businesspersons or industry); In re Institutional Investor, Inc., 229 USPQ 614 (TTAB 1986) (INTERNATIONAL BANKING INSTITUTE for organizing seminars for bank leaders of major countries held incapable); In re Billfish Int’l Corp., 229 USPQ 152 (TTAB 1986) (BILLFISH INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION merely descriptive of corporation involved with billfish on an international scale); In re Nat’l Rent A Fence, Inc., 220 USPQ 479 (TTAB 1983) (NATIONAL RENT A FENCE merely descriptive of nationwide fence rental services); BankAmerica Corp. v. Int’l Travelers Cheque Co., 205 USPQ 1233 (TTAB 1979) (INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS CHEQUE merely descriptive of financial consulting services that are international in scope); Nat’l Fid. Life Ins. v. Nat’l Ins. Trust, 199 USPQ 691 (TTAB 1978) (NATIONAL INSURANCE TRUST merely descriptive of services of handling administrative matters in locating suitable insurance coverage for attorneys); Jefferson Bankshares Inc. v. Jefferson Sav. Bank, 14 USPQ2d 1443, 1447 (W.D. Va. 1989) (NATIONAL BANK merely descriptive of banking services); Nat’l Auto. Club v. Nat’l Auto Club, Inc., 365 F. Supp. 879, 180 USPQ 777 (S.D.N.Y. 1973), aff’d, 502 F.2d 1162 (2d Cir. 1974) (NATIONAL merely descriptive of auto club services).

The terms “GLOBAL” and “WORLDWIDE” are also considered to be merely descriptive of services that are global or worldwide in scope.

Note: A map of the world or a depiction of a globe generally is not considered the pictorial equivalent of the terms “INTERNATIONAL,” “GLOBAL,” or “WORLDWIDE.”