The USPTO refused to register the proposed mark BEST KNIGHT GAMES for "board games; card games; checkers games; chess games; dice games; equipment sold as a unit for playing board games; go games; parlor games; puzzle games; strategy games; tabletop games; chess equipment and accessories; chess clocks; chess timers," finding the mark to be merely descriptive of the goods. Applicant argued that the mark is "suggestive in relation to the applied-for goods and suggests that the products can be enjoyed at night and derive from a source that prides itself as being honorary, fun, excellent, and entertaining." How do you think this came out? In re Portland Chess Shop LLC, Application Serial No. 90433730 (November 15, 2022) [not precedential] (Opinion by Judge Marc A. Bergsman).
Examining Attorney Andrea Cornwell relied, unsurprisingly, on dictionary definitions of "best," "knight," and "games," leading the Board to conclude that "when used in connection with the products in Applicant's description of goods listed above, consumers will perceive BEST KNIGHT GAMES as superior activities involving a medieval, mounted soldier in armor." Third-party websites using the terms "knight games" and "best night games" confirmed that meaning.
The Board pooh-poohed applicant's argument that the proposed mark is suggestive of the goods and "does not immediately convey information about the quality, feature, function, or characteristic of Applicant's goods to the average consumer." The Board found that "when the mark BEST KNIGHT GAMES is used in connection with board games, parlor games, or strategy games, consumers immediately understand that the activity (game) involves medieval mounted solders wearing armor (i.e., knights)."
Applicant also argued that its use of "Best" makes the mark BEST KNIGHT GAMES registrable because "Best" does not specify what aspects, if any, are better than other similar goods. The Board was unmoved. "Applicant's use of the word 'Best' is laudatory. Laudatory terms, those that attribute quality or excellence to goods or services, such as Applicant's use of 'Best' in BEST KNIGHT GAMES, are merely descriptive under Section 2(e)(1) of the Trademark Act."
And so, the Board affirmed the refusal to register.
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