Office action text of Amazon's Trademark MadeMark for clothing - Likelihood of Confusion rejection

Office action text of Amazon's Trademark MadeMark for clothing - Likelihood of Confusion rejection

  • 08 May, 2024
  • Nyall Engfield

Office action text of Amazon's Trademark MadeMark for clothing - Likelihood of Confusion rejection

The response is here.

Below is the Feb 8, 2020 rejection for likelihood of confusion under 2d for U.S. Registration No. 3059279 MADE for clothing items.



  • Section 2(d) Refusal – Likelihood of Confusion




Registration of the applied-for mark is refused because of a likelihood of confusion with the mark in U.S. Registration No. 3059279.   Trademark Act Section 2(d), 15 U.S.C. §1052(d); see TMEP §§1207.01 et seq.   See the attached registration.


Applicant applied to register the mark MADEMARK for clothing items. The registered mark is MADE for clothing items.


Trademark Act Section 2(d) bars registration of an applied-for mark that is so similar to a registered mark that it is likely consumers would be confused, mistaken, or deceived as to the commercial source of the goods and/or services of the parties. See 15 U.S.C. §1052(d).   Likelihood of confusion is determined on a case-by-case basis by applying the factors set forth in In re E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 476 F.2d 1357, 1361, 177 USPQ 563, 567 (C.C.P.A. 1973) (called the “du Pont factors”). In re, llc, 866 F.3d 1315, 1322, 123 USPQ2d 1744, 1747 (Fed. Cir. 2017). Only those factors that are “relevant and of record” need be considered. M2 Software, Inc. v. M2 Commc’ns, Inc., 450 F.3d 1378, 1382, 78 USPQ2d 1944, 1947 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (citing Shen Mfg. Co. v. Ritz Hotel Ltd., 393 F.3d 1238, 1241, 73 USPQ2d 1350, 1353 (Fed. Cir. 2004)); see In re Inn at St. John’s, LLC, 126 USPQ2d 1742, 1744 (TTAB 2018).  


Although not all du Pont factors may be relevant, there are generally two key considerations in any likelihood of confusion analysis: (1) the similarities between the compared marks and (2) the relatedness of the compared goods and/or services. See In re, llc, 866 F.3d at 1322, 123 USPQ2d at 1747 (quoting Herbko Int’l, Inc. v. Kappa Books, Inc., 308 F.3d 1156, 1164-65, 64 USPQ2d 1375, 1380 (Fed. Cir. 2002)); Federated Foods, Inc. v. Fort Howard Paper Co., 544 F.2d 1098, 1103, 192 USPQ 24, 29 (C.C.P.A. 1976) (“The fundamental inquiry mandated by [Section] 2(d) goes to the cumulative effect of differences in the essential characteristics of the goods [or services] and differences in the marks.”); TMEP §1207.01.




Marks are compared in their entireties for similarities in appearance, sound, connotation, and commercial impression. Stone Lion Capital Partners, LP v. Lion Capital LLP, 746 F.3d 1317, 1321, 110 USPQ2d 1157, 1160 (Fed. Cir. 2014) (quoting Palm Bay Imps., Inc. v. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Maison Fondee En 1772, 396 F.3d 1369, 1371, 73 USPQ2d 1689, 1691 (Fed. Cir. 2005)); TMEP §1207.01(b)-(b)(v).   “Similarity in any one of these elements may be sufficient to find the marks confusingly similar.” In re Inn at St. John’s, LLC, 126 USPQ2d 1742, 1746 (TTAB 2018) (citing In re Davia, 110 USPQ2d 1810, 1812 (TTAB 2014)); TMEP §1207.01(b).


In the present case, the respective marks are comprised in whole or significant part of the term MADE. Such a term is distinctive as used in connection with the identified goods. Consequently, the marks share the same over-all sound, appearance and commercial impression. Applicant has merely added the highly descriptive, if not generic, wording “Mark”, short for trademark, to the registered MADE mark. See attached excerpted webpage definition. Adding a term to a registered mark generally does not obviate the similarity between the compared marks, as in the present case, nor does it overcome a likelihood of confusion under Section 2(d). See Coca-Cola Bottling Co. v. Jos. E. Seagram & Sons, Inc., 526 F.2d 556, 557, 188 USPQ 105, 106 (C.C.P.A. 1975) (finding BENGAL and BENGAL LANCER and design confusingly similar); In re Toshiba Med. Sys. Corp., 91 USPQ2d 1266, 1269 (TTAB 2009) (finding TITAN and VANTAGE TITAN confusingly similar); In re El Torito Rests., Inc., 9 USPQ2d 2002, 2004 (TTAB 1988) (finding MACHO and MACHO COMBOS confusingly similar); TMEP §1207.01(b)(iii).




Likelihood of confusion is determined based upon the description of the goods stated in the application and registration at issue, not on evidence of actual use. See In re Detroit Athletic Co., 903 F.3d 1297, 1307, 128 USPQ2d 1047, 1052 (Fed. Cir. 2018) (citing In re, llc, 866 F.3d 1315, 1325, 123 USPQ2d 1744, 1749 (Fed. Cir. 2017)).


The compared goods need not be identical or even competitive to find a likelihood of confusion. See On-line Careline Inc. v. Am. Online Inc., 229 F.3d 1080, 1086, 56 USPQ2d 1471, 1475 (Fed. Cir. 2000); Recot, Inc. v. Becton, 214 F.3d 1322, 1329, 54 USPQ2d 1894, 1898 (Fed. Cir. 2000); TMEP §1207.01(a)(i). They need only be “related in some manner and/or if the circumstances surrounding their marketing are such that they could give rise to the mistaken belief that [the goods] emanate from the same source.” Coach Servs., Inc. v. Triumph Learning LLC, 668 F.3d 1356, 1369, 101 USPQ2d 1713, 1722 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (quoting 7-Eleven Inc. v. Wechsler, 83 USPQ2d 1715, 1724 (TTAB 2007)); TMEP §1207.01(a)(i).


In the present case, both the application and registration identify articles of clothing, such as shirts and sweatshirts.   Thus, applicant’s and registrant’s goods are legally identical. See, e.g., In re, llc, 127 USPQ2d 1627, 1629 (TTAB 2018) (citing Tuxedo Monopoly, Inc. v.Gen. Mills Fun Grp., Inc., 648 F.2d 1335, 1336, 209 USPQ 986, 988 (C.C.P.A. 1981); Inter IKEA Sys. B.V. v. Akea, LLC, 110 USPQ2d 1734, 1745 (TTAB 2014); Baseball Am. Inc. v. Powerplay Sports Ltd., 71 USPQ2d 1844, 1847 n.9 (TTAB 2004)). In addition, neither the registration nor application contain any restriction as to nature, type, channels of trade, or classes of purchasers.   As such, the goods are “presumed to travel in the same channels of trade to the same class of purchasers.” In re Viterra Inc., 671 F.3d 1358, 1362, 101 USPQ2d 1905, 1908 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (quoting Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Packard Press, Inc., 281 F.3d 1261, 1268, 62 USPQ2d 1001, 1005 (Fed. Cir. 2002)).   Therefore, the examining attorney must conclude that customers of the registrant might encounter the applicant’s mark and goods in the marketplace given the similar channels of trade within which the identified goods travel. Consequently, the goods are similar for likelihood of confusion purposes.


The overriding concern is not only to prevent buyer confusion as to the source of the goods and/or services, but to protect the registrant from adverse commercial impact due to use of a similar mark by a newcomer. See In re Shell Oil Co., 992 F.2d 1204, 1208, 26 USPQ2d 1687, 1690 (Fed. Cir. 1993). Therefore, any doubt regarding a likelihood of confusion determination is resolved in favor of the registrant. TMEP §1207.01(d)(i); see Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Packard Press, Inc., 281 F.3d 1261, 1265, 62 USPQ2d 1001, 1003 (Fed. Cir. 2002); In re Hyper Shoppes (Ohio), Inc., 837 F.2d 463, 464-65, 6 USPQ2d 1025, 1026 (Fed. Cir. 1988).


Although the examining attorney has refused registration, Applicant may respond to the refusal to register by submitting evidence and arguments in support of registration.


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