Recent USPTO Trademark Decisions Relating to Alcohol Beverages

The USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (“TTAB”) recently issued three relevant decisions to the wine, beer, and spirits industries. The decisions are summarized below. In re El Galan, Inc., Serial No. 86961428 (February 1, 2018) [not precedential]: El Galan, Inc. (“Applicant”) sought registration of the mark TERNURA in standard characters for “cigars” in International Class 34. Originally, the Trademark Examining Attorney refused registration under Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act for likelihood of confusion with the registered mark TERNURA for “liquor; tequila, vodka; wines” in International Class 33. Applicant appealed to the USPTO TTAB, who affirmed the original refusal. The Board reasoned that the marks were identical (even though Applicant attempted to argue that the marks convey a different commercial impression with respect to the goods because they travel in different trade channels and use different packaging, which…

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