Bragging about functional features kills trademark

patentandtrademarkpatentandtrademark subscriber Posts: 103
edited July 2009 in Marketing
Bragging about functional features kills trademark application

 

Applicant tried to trademark the shape of storage trays.  Like many marketing or advertising people might have suggested, Applicant extolled the functional virtues of the storage trays:

 

(1) that users "can stack them in and on top of one another,"
(2) that the trays "save space by fitting into one another,"
(3) that they "are designed to fit directly into standard school furniture,"
(4) that "the front handle cutout allows the contents to be seen,"
(5) that "the flat fronts create a safer grip surface," and
(6) that "a continuous ribbed edge keeps the tray sides from squeezing in."

 

If the shape of the object or product offers a functional advantage, you will have trouble with the registration of the shape as a trademark.  If you BRAG about the functional advantages in your marketing and sales materials, you may as well forget it.  At least make the USPTO PROVE the shape of the object or product offers a functional advantage.

 




In re Gratnell’s Limited

, Serial No. 78450327 (April 8, 2009).

 


 

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