IP: Do the "I"s have it? Perhaps so

One Trademark Trial and Appeal Board opinion reveals that some “i” formative marks are protectable

Prior to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s opinion in In re Tofasco of America, Inc., it appeared obvious that adding “i” to a generic term was not registrable (at least to everyone but Apple).

These so-called "i-" marks—think iRADIO for an Internet radio—were often rejected as being merely descriptive—that is, conveying an immediate idea of the ingredients, qualities or characteristics of the goods or services applied-for. The issue is whether someone who knows what the goods or services are will understand the mark to convey information about them.

Contributing Author

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Scott Slavick

Scott Slavick is a shareholder at Brinks Gilson & Lione, where his practice focuses primarily on trademark prosecution and trademark litigation. Scott maintains all aspects...

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