TMEP 807.14(f): Material Alteration:  Case References

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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807.14(f)    Material Alteration:  Case References

Proposed amendments to marks were found to be material alterations in the following decisions: In re Thrifty, Inc., 274 F.3d 1349, 61 USPQ2d 1121 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (finding amendment describing a mark as the color blue applied to an unlimited variety of objects to be a material alteration of the mark on the original drawing, which depicted the color blue applied to a building); In re Hacot-Colombier, 105 F.3d 616, 41 USPQ2d 1523 (Fed. Cir. 1997) (finding proposed addition of house mark to conform to mark on foreign registration to be a material alteration of the mark on the drawing filed with original application); In re Guitar Straps Online, LLC, 103 USPQ2d 1745 (TTAB 2012) (finding proposed amendment from "GOT STRAPS" to "GOT STRAPS?" to be a material alteration); In re Who? Vision Sys., Inc., 57 USPQ2d 1211 (TTAB 2000) (finding proposed amendment from "TACILESENSE" to "TACTILESENSE" to be a material alteration); In re Meditech Int’l Corp., 25 USPQ2d 1159, 1160 (TTAB 1990) ("A drawing consisting of a single blue star, as well as a drawing consisting of a number of blue stars, would both be considered material alterations vis-à-vis a drawing consisting of the typed words DESIGN OF A BLUE STAR."); In re Vienna Sausage Mfg. Co., 16 USPQ2d 2044 (TTAB 1990) (finding addition of wording "MR. SEYMOUR" to design mark to be a material alteration); In re The Wine Soc’y of Am., Inc., 12 USPQ2d 1139 (TTAB 1989) (finding proposed amendment to replace typed drawing of "THE WINE SOCIETY OF AMERICA" with a special form drawing including those words with a crown design and a banner design bearing the words "IN VINO VERITAS" to be a material alteration); In re Nationwide Indus., Inc., 6 USPQ2d 1882 (TTAB 1988) (finding addition of house mark "SNAP" to product mark "RUST BUSTER" to be a material alteration); In re Pierce Foods Corp., 230 USPQ 307 (TTAB 1986) (finding addition of house mark "PIERCE" to "CHIK’N BAKE" to be a material alteration).

Proposed amendments to marks were found not to constitute a material alteration in the following cases: Jack Wolfskin Ausrustung Fur Draussen GmbH & Co. KGAA v. New Millennium Sports, S.L.U., 797 F.3d 1363, 1370, 116 USPQ2d 1129, 1133-34 (Fed. Cir. 2015) (holding minor adjustment to the font and alterations to the design element of registered mark insufficient to change the commercial impression created by the mark); In re Innovative Cos., LLC, 88 USPQ2d 1095 (TTAB 2008) (finding amendment from "FREEDOMSTONE" to "FREEDOM STONE" not to be a material alteration); Paris Glove of Can., Ltd. v. SBC/Sporto Corp., 84 USPQ2d 1856, 1862 (TTAB 2007) (finding "AQUASTOP" depicted on one line in semicircular form not to be a material alteration of "AQUA STOP" depicted on two lines in rectangular form; the Board explained that "the commercial impression of the mark is dependent upon the literal terms AQUA STOP and not on the rectangular, semicircular or linear forms of display"); In re Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp., 41 USPQ2d 1152 (TTAB 1996) (finding "NEW YORK JEWELRY OUTLET" not to be a material alteration of "NY JEWELRY OUTLET"); In re Larios, S.A., 35 USPQ2d 1214 (TTAB 1995) (finding "VINO DE MALAGA LARIOS" and design not to be a material alteration of "GRAN VINO MALAGA LARIOS" with similar design); Visa Int’l Serv. Ass’n v. Life-Code Sys., Inc., 220 USPQ 740 (TTAB 1983) (finding amendment inverting the design portion of the mark not to be a material alteration).