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Multi Touch Trademark

Multi Touch Trademark

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Published by Jordan Golson
Apple Trademark Decision on MultiTouch
Apple Trademark Decision on MultiTouch

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Published by: Jordan Golson on Sep 26, 2011
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10/02/2011

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 Hearing: Mailed: April 20, 2011 September 23, 2011
UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
________
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
________In re Apple Inc.________Serial No. 77219819_______Glen Gunderson, Erik Bertin and Jacob Bishop of DechertLLP, and Thomas R. La Perle, Esq. for Apple Inc.
1
  April K. Roach, Trademark Examining Attorney, Law Office115 (John T. Linconski, Managing Attorney)._______Before Zervas, Taylor and Lykos, Administrative TrademarkJudges.Opinion by Zervas, Administrative Trademark Judge: Apple Inc. is the owner of an application (applicationSerial No. 77219819, filed pursuant to Trademark Act§§ 1(b) and 44(d), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1051(b) and 1126(d), forregistration of the term MULTI-TOUCH (in standard characterform) for International Class 9 goods ultimately identifiedas:
1
Mr. Gunderson argued for applicant at the oral hearing. Exceptfor the reply brief, Mr. La Perle signed all of the papers filedwith the Office.
THIS OPINION IS NOTA PRECEDENT OFTHE T.T.A.B.
 
Ser. No.
 
77219819
 
2Handheld mobile digital electronic devices withelectronic mail, digital data transmission,audio player, video player, handheld computer,personal digital assistant, electronicorganizer, electronic notepad, telephone,computer gaming, and camera functions. Applicant’s identification of goods is directed toapplicant’s iPhone product.The examining attorney refused registration underSection 2(e)(1) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C.§1052(e)(1), on the basis that applicant’s proposed mark ismerely descriptive of applicant's goods. Applicant then(i) filed an amendment to allege use asserting first use onJanuary 9, 2007 and first use in commerce on June 29, 2007;(ii) amended its application to seek registration under theprovisions of Trademark Act § 2(f), 15 U.S.C. § 1052(f);and (iii) submitted evidence in support of its Section 2(f)claim of acquired distinctiveness. The examining attorneywas not persuaded by applicant’s showing of acquireddistinctiveness and issued a final Office actionmaintaining the Section 2(e)(1) mere descriptivenessrefusal and her finding that applicant's Section 2(f)showing is insufficient. Applicant has appealed the examining attorney’s finalrefusal to the Board. Both applicant and the examining
 
Ser. No.
 
77219819
 
3attorney have filed briefs
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and the Board conducted ahearing on April 20, 2011. We affirm the refusal toregister.
 
The Federal Circuit, our primary reviewing court, hasstated that “the greater the degree of descriptiveness theterm has, the heavier the burden to prove it has attainedsecondary meaning.”
In Re Bongrain Int'l (Am.) Corp
., 894F.2d 1316, 13 USPQ2d 1727, 1728 n.4 (Fed. Cir. 1990). Theexamining attorney and applicant disagree on the degree ofdescriptiveness of the applied-for term. Thus, we beginour analysis with a determination of the degree ofdescriptiveness of the term in relation to the goodsidentified in the application.
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 The examining attorney maintains that “multi-touch” is“highly descriptive” and identifies a type of touchscreeninterface which “allows a user to manipulate and controlthe functions of an electronic device by using more than
2
Applicant submitted with its brief a copy of most, if not all,of the evidence it submitted during the prosecution of itsapplication. The Board prefers not to have duplicates ofmaterial already submitted; it merely adds to the bulk of therecord and wastes the time of Board staff in handling or scanningthe papers and the time of the judges in reviewing the additionalpapers.
 
3
Applicant did not contest the Section 2(e)(1) determination inits brief, thus, applicant has waived any argument that the markis not merely descriptive. The only issue presented in thisappeal is whether the evidence of record is sufficient to supportapplicant’s claim of acquired distinctiveness under Section 2(f).

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