The trademark of a business can be anything like a name, logo, or symbol, that helps the brand stand unique in the minds of people. The trademark search is the primary thing to be done before registering the mark with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to avoid confusion with already existing marks. However, there are some cases in which the trademarks are slightly similar to the others. This is where the crowded field argument plays a key role. Let us look more at the Crowded Field of Third-Party Registrations in this blog.
Crowded Field of Third-Party Registrations – Explained
While registering a trademark for your business, you can notice that there may be some trademarks of other brands similar to yours. This is known as the Crowded Field of Trademark Registrations. If your trademark is found to be similar to an already existing or registered mark, your trademark application has the possibility of coming under Section 2(d) Likelihood of Confusion Rejection. Also, the application may get rejected for registration. How to prevent this and prove that your trademark is different from others?
In this case, you can use the Crowded Field Argument and appeal to the TTAB (Trademark Trial and Appeal Board) to prove that your trademark has no likelihood of confusion with other trademarks. Before appealing to the TTAB for this argument, it is necessary to collect all the required evidence to prove that your mark shows differentiation from others.
In order to raise a crowded field argument, you need to conduct thorough research. You should identify the list of all trademarks that are similar to your mark and their brands. After finding out the marks, you should be more careful in identifying even the slightest difference between them and your mark. Even the slightest difference can be useful to prove that your trademark is clearly different from the others. If you are so confident about your mark’s uniqueness, you can definitely raise a crowded field argument and make it successful.
Factors to be Considered while Making a Crowded Field Argument
When you are trying to make a crowded field argument for your trademark, there are several things that you should focus on. Some of them are listed below –
There would be many trademarks that are similar to yours. First, you need to look for all the registered trademarks and pending applications that are similar to yours and note down the differences between them and yours. If similar trademark registrations are high in number, make sure that they are all registered by different owners.
So, here are three important things you need to remember before making a crowded field argument. One is to check the number of registrations of marks that are similar to yours. Second, they are all registered by different entities. And lastly, note down all the differences, including even the slightest. Because even a minor differentiation can make your mark stand out from the others.
Well-known Examples of Crowded Field Argument Marks
The well-known trademarks that used the Crowded Field Argument against Section 2(d) Likelihood of Confusion with third-party registrations are explained below.
One of the popular brands that faced confusion and refusal is Match Studio. The brand registered the trademark to refer to top and bottom clothing. The attorney rejected the application during the examination because of the likelihood of confusion with other marks registered by the third parties. However, the TTAB agreed to the fact that both the terms “Match” and “Studio” have equal significance in the trademark name, so that the mark is sufficiently different from other marks.
One more popular example of this Crowded Field Argument is the Squeeze Juice Company trademark. At first, the company received a refusal because it is in the likelihood of confusion with other juice bar services. The trademark owner refused the rejection by stating the differences between his trademark and others. The board also accepted that the design element (Squeeze) of the Squeeze Juice trademark is distinctive and descriptive enough to differ from other marks. As a result, the board said that there is less likely to create confusion with other marks.
If you have enough evidence to prove that your mark is distinctive from others, you can strongly argue and reject the refusal. However, in the future, it is not so easy to oppose any similar marks registered since your mark is weak.
Get any kind of legal help from Brealant Ltd.
Nowadays, conducting the proper research before registering a trademark application with the USPTO is necessary to avoid confusion with other marks and rejection of your application. If you are looking for the proper guidance to assist you throughout the process of trademark, copyright, and patent registration with the USPTO, Brealant is a great choice. Contact us today to get the most appropriate registration guidance based on your Intellectual Property.