Company submits specimens for many of its dubious trademark applications.The company that spent about $50,000 trying to trademark what are mostly famous brands, trademarks and common phrases is still pushing on after receiving initial refusals from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Indiana company Trademark King Inc filed over 150 trademark applications around Thanksgiving last year. The applications include a lot of famous brands (e.g. NCAA Final Four, Google.com), famous people (e.g. Elton John, Warren Buffet) and commerce terms (e.g. Labor Day Sale, Black Friday Deals).
All of the applications I checked when filed did not include the required specimen showing use in commerce.
The USPTO has issued an initial refusal on many of the applications. It cites the lack of specimen plus the apparent shenanigans.
For example, the refusal for “Selection Sunday” points out that the phrase falsely implies a connection to the NCAA. The refusal also notes:
That this applicant is attempting to create a connection with the NCAA via the applied-for mark is further evidenced by several of its other recently filed applications:
86464112 NCAA FINAL FOUR
86464136 2015 NCAA FINAL FOUR INDIANAPOLIS
86464144 2016 NCAA FINAL FOUR HOUSTON
86464147 2017 NCAA FINAL FOUR PHOENIX
86464161 2018 NCAA FINAL FOUR SAN ANTONIO
86464173 2019 NCAA FINAL FOUR MINNEAPOLIS
86464184 2020 NCAA FINAL FOUR ATLANTA
Trademark King has responded to some of the refusals with a slight change in wording for the Goods and Service. The “Selection Sunday” application now includes “Selling or leasing the trademark Selection Sunday to anyone for a legal business activity.”
The specimen requirement is rather tricky, given that it would be very hard to show use of these terms in commerce. This is especially the case for the many marks directly matching domain names Trademark King doesn’t own, such as HolyBible.com and Trademarking.com.
Trademarking.com is owned by Rick Schwartz. Trademark King Inc’s specimen showing use of this term in commerce is merely the word “Trademarking.com” typed on a piece of paper.
A similar specimen was submitted for HolyBible.com and Selection Sunday.
That’s not going to fool anyone.