TMEP 1209.03(r): Retail Store and Distributorship Services

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1209.03(r)    Retail Store and Distributorship Services

A term that is generic for goods is descriptive of retail store services featuring those goods, when the goods are not a significant item typically sold in the type of store in question. In re Pencils Inc., 9 USPQ2d 1410 (TTAB 1988) (PENCILS held merely descriptive of office supply store services). However, where the matter sought to be registered identifies the primary articles of a store or distributorship service, the term is considered generic. See, e.g., In re Tires, Tires, Tires, Inc., 94 USPQ2d 1153, (TTAB 2009) (TIRES TIRES TIRES generic for retail tire store services); In re Lens.com, Inc., 83 USPQ2d 1444 (TTAB 2007) (LENS generic for "retail store services featuring contact eyewear products rendered via a global computer network"); In re Eddie Z’s Blinds & Drapery, Inc., 74 USPQ2d 1037 (TTAB 2005) (BLINDSANDDRAPERY.COM generic for retail store services featuring blinds, draperies, and other wall coverings, conducted via the Internet); In re Candy Bouquet Int’l, Inc., 73 USPQ2d 1883 (TTAB 2004) (CANDY BOUQUET generic for "retail, mail, and computer order services in the field of gift packages of candy"); In re A La Vieille Russie, Inc., 60 USPQ2d 1895 (TTAB 2001) (RUSSIANART generic for dealership services in the field of fine art, antiques, furniture, and jewelry); In re Log Cabin Homes Ltd., 52 USPQ2d 1206 (TTAB 1999) (LOG CABIN HOMES generic for retail outlets selling kits for building log homes); In re Bonni Keller Collections Ltd., 6 USPQ2d 1224 (TTAB 1987) (LA LINGERIE generic for retail stores specializing in the sale of lingerie); In re Wickerware, Inc., 227 USPQ 970 (TTAB 1985) (WICKERWARE generic for mail order and distributorship services in the field of products made of wicker); In re Half Price Books, Records, Magazines, Inc., 225 USPQ 219 (TTAB 1984) (HALF PRICE BOOKS RECORDS MAGAZINES generic for retail book and record store services).

The examining attorney, therefore, must "analyze the term in relation to the services recited in the application, the context in which it is used and the possible significance it would have to the recipient of the services." Pencils, 9 USPQ2d at 1411.