TTABlog Test: Is "GOAT GREATEST OF ALL TIME" Merely Descriptive of Vodka?
AAN Holding, LLC. applied to register the mark GOAT GREATEST OF ALL TIME for vodka, but the USPTO refused registration on the ground of Section 2(e)(1) mere descriptiveness. Applicant pointed to five Principal Register registrations for marks that include a variation of GOAT GREATEST OF ALL TIME without disclaimer or Section 2(f) claim, arguing that these registrations "show an Office practice of allowing GOAT GREATEST OF ALL TIME and other common phrases and expressions to register." How do you think this came out? In re AAN Holdings, LLC, Serial No. 88130411 (December 6, 20201) [not precedential] (Opinion by Judge Marc A. Bergsman).
There was no disagreement that GOAT stands for GREATEST OF ALL TIME [See Brady, Tom - ed.]. The question, then, was whether that phrase is merely descriptive of vodka. Yes, said the Board. "GOAT GREATEST OF ALL TIME is a laudatory term. *** The Federal Circuit and this Board have held that other marks which arguably denote 'high quality,' 'excellence' and 'superior quality' are laudatory and, thus, merely descriptive." [for example, CONSISTENTLY SUPERIOR, QUESO QUESADILLA SUPREME, SELECT and its equivalent SELECTA, PREFERRED, and AMERICA'S BEST POPCORN]. The Board opined that GOAT GREATEST OF ALL TIME "is as laudatory, if not more so," than the marks cited above. [How more laudatory could you get? - ed.].
The Board found applicant's evidence of five prior registrations [for medicated soaps, restaurant services, clothing, paper products, and retail fishing equipment services] to be not that great. Brushing them aside, the Board observed once again that it must decide each case on its own merits, and it is not bound by registration decisions in other cases, even if some characteristics are similar. Moreover, the Board noted, the evidentiary landscape for the descriptiveness analysis likely differed at the time of these registrations, the earliest of which dates back to 2006."
And so, the Board affirmed the refusal.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.