TMEP 1210.04(a): Establishing Goods/Place Association

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1210.04(a)    Establishing Goods/Place Association

To establish a goods/place association, it is not necessary to show that the place identified in the mark is well known or noted for the goods. In re Les Halles De Paris J.V., 334 F.3d 1371, 1374, 67 USPQ2d 1539, 1541 (Fed. Cir. 2003) ("[T]he goods-place association often requires little more than a showing that the consumer identifies the place as a known source of the product."). See In re Miracle Tuesday, LLC, 695 F.3d 1339, 1344, 104 USPQ2d 1330, 1333 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (JPK PARIS 75 and design held primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive of fashion accessories that do not originate in Paris where it is undisputed that Paris is famous for such products); In re Save Venice New York Inc., 259 F.3d 1346, 59 USPQ2d 1778 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (THE VENICE COLLECTION and SAVE VENICE INC. composite marks featuring an image of the winged Lion of St. Mark held primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive of products that do not originate in Venice, Italy, where an encyclopedia and a gazetteer showed that Venice was a large metropolitan area where fine art objects, glassware, and decorative items had been made and sold for centuries, and a popular tourist destination); In re Wada, 194 F.3d 1297, 52 USPQ2d 1539 (Fed. Cir. 1999) (NEW YORK WAYS GALLERY held primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive where manufacturing listings and Nexis® excerpts showed that handbags and luggage are designed and manufactured in New York); In re Loew’s Theatres, Inc., 769 F.2d 764, 226 USPQ 865 (Fed. Cir. 1985) (finding evidence from a gazeteer and dictionary showing that tobacco is a crop produced and marketed in Durango, Mexico sufficient to establish a prima facie goods/place association); In re Joint-Stock Co. "Baik," 80 USPQ2d 1305 (TTAB 2006) (BAIKALSKAYA held primarily geographically descriptive of vodka where record the showed that applicant is located in Irkutsk, Russia, a city near Lake Baikal and one of the main export regions of Russian vodka, applicant’s vodka is made from water piped directly from Lake Baikal, Lake Baikal is the world’s largest fresh water lake, and there are numerous references to "Baikal" in publications from various cities throughout the United States and in national publications); In re Broyhill Furniture Indus., Inc., 60 USPQ2d 1511, 1516-17 (TTAB 2001) (finding evidence that Tuscany, Italy is an important industrial center that produces a variety of products including furniture, and that several businesses advertise the sale of furniture from Tuscany on the Internet, was sufficient to establish a goods/place association between Tuscany and furniture, even though Tuscany is not famous for its furniture); In re Boyd Gaming Corp., 57 USPQ2d 1944 (TTAB 2000) (HAVANA RESORT & CASINO and ROYAL HAVANA RESORT & CASINO held primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive of wearing apparel, beauty products and perfume that do not come from Havana, Cuba, where the record showed that Havana produces a variety of goods, including clothing and cosmetic items); In re Bacardi & Co. Ltd., 48 USPQ2d 1031 (TTAB 1997) (HAVANA SELECT, HABANA CLASICO, OLD HAVANA, HAVANA PRIMO, and HAVANA CLIPPER all held primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive of rum that does not originate in Havana, Cuba, where the evidence showed that Havana is a major city and rum is a significant product).

In Save Venice, the court noted that in the modern marketing context, geographic regions that are noted for certain products or services are likely to expand from their traditional goods or services into related goods or services, and that this would be expected by consumers. Accordingly, the court held that "the registrability of a geographic mark may be measured against the public’s association of that region with both its traditional goods and any related goods or services that the public is likely to believe originate there." 259 F.3d at 1355, 59 USPQ2d at 1784.

However, a showing that the geographic place is known to the public and could be the source of the goods or services may not be enough in itself to establish a goods/place or services/place association in all cases. See In re Mankovitz, 90 USPQ2d 1246 (TTAB 2009) (THE MONTECITO DIET held not primarily geographically descriptive and the evidence of a goods/place or services/place association, consisting only of the fact that the applicant lived in Montecito, found insufficient, the Board stating that "it would be speculation on our part to reach the conclusion that the goods or services originate there or that the public would understand that there is a goods/place relationship"); In re John Harvey & Sons Ltd., 32 USPQ2d 1451 (TTAB 1994) (HARVEYS BRISTOL CREAM not primarily geographically descriptive of cakes flavored with sherry wine, the Board finding evidence that applicant’s headquarters are located in Bristol, England and that applicant’s sherry wine was once bottled there insufficient to show that American consumers are likely to think that "Bristol" refers to a place from which the goods originate); In re Gale Hayman Inc., 15 USPQ2d 1478 (TTAB 1990) (SUNSET BOULEVARD held not primarily geographically descriptive of perfume and cologne, the Board holding that the mere fact that applicant’s principal offices are in Century City, close to Sunset Boulevard does not mandate a finding that a goods/place association should be presumed, determining that the public would not make a goods/place association, and noting that there was no evidence that any perfume or cologne is manufactured or produced on Sunset Boulevard or that applicant’s goods are sold there); Philip Morris Inc. v. Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH, 14 USPQ2d 1487 (TTAB 1990) (PARK AVENUE held neither deceptive nor geographically deceptively misdescriptive as applied to cigarettes and smoking tobacco, the Board finding no goods/place association between tobacco products and Park Avenue in New York City, on which opposer’s world headquarters was located); In re Venice Maid Co., Inc., 222 USPQ 618, 619 (TTAB 1984) (VENICE MAID held not primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive of canned foods, including, inter alia, lasagna and spaghetti, where the evidence of a goods/place association was found insufficient, the Board stating that "we are unwilling to sustain the refusal to register in this case simply on the basis that Venice is a large Italian city that could, conceivably, be the source of a wide range of goods, including canned foods").

The question of whether there is a goods/place association is determined on a case-by-case basis, based on the evidence in the record. Compare Fred Hayman Beverly Hills Inc. v. Jacques Bernier Inc., 38 USPQ2d 1691 (TTAB 1996) (RODEO DRIVE held primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive of perfume, where opposer’s evidence showed that a significant number of Rodeo Drive retailers sell "prestige" fragrances, and that the public would be likely to make the requisite goods/place association between perfume and Rodeo Drive) with In re Jacques Bernier Inc., 894 F.2d 389, 13 USPQ2d 1725 (Fed. Cir. 1990) (RODEO DRIVE held not primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive of perfume because of the lack of persuasive evidence of a goods/place association in the ex parte record).