We are proud to announce our NEW community destination. Engage with resident experts and fellow entrepreneurs, and learn everything you need to start your business. Check out the new home of StartupNation Community at startupnation.mn.co

marketing a "banana chair" and trademark

patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
edited January 2009 in Marketing
The USPTO reversed a refusal to register the mark BANANA CHAIR, finding the mark not merely descriptive of a type of chair.  They concluded that "[a]lthough the chair has a curved shape that may suggest the shape of a banana, the chair does not in fact look like a banana, and the term Banana Chair does not immediately and directly describe the shape."


How would you market this chair?  I ask you – does this chair merely “suggest the shape of a banana” or does it “look like a banana”?  Hint: then answer is not on legalzoom.


http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_ef_M4U2nwus/S ... +chair.jpg



  • Options
    lalulallalulal subscriber Posts: 0
    I often talk with people in their mid-50s and older who want to
    start businesses.  They invariably tell me, “I’m probably too old for
    this, but….” Then they proceed to explain why they want to start a
    business.  It usually has something to do with having worked for a
    large company for many years, and the desire to find something fun to
    do that will bring them some independence…and, of course, some money. 
    Sound familiar?
    One man told me recently, “I am just going to do the traditional
    retirement thing, because I can’t possibly start a business at my age
    (he’s 58).”  I guess he’s right - for him.   You have probably heard
    that Harlen Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken after he was 60. 
    Well, that’s kind of true.  But he is a good example of someone who
    took the plunge later in life.
    lalulalhttp://mls.fastrealestate.net/b/flat-fee-mls-2lalulal1/9/2009 3:34 PM
  • Options
    patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
    the question was designed to do a few things:
    1.  show how subjective a phrase like "banana shaped" can be.
    2.  show how uncertain legal rulings can be in such cases.
    3.  illustrate that it can be difficult to register marks/words that are very descriptive of the goods being sold.
    Yes, at least for the time being, the mark will be registered by USPTO.  The mark is subject to opposition by other people, so it may be in for a long fight.  The case is a real live recent case and I don`t personally know what the mark owner plans on doing with it.
    A trademark can play into a marketing campaign by preventing competitors from also using that trademark to sell their goods.  If the trademark is too descriptive, exclusivity suffers and the trademark may have to be shared to some extent.
Sign In or Register to comment.