Beer, Wine and Liquor … oh my!
On June 12, 2018, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) dismissed an opposition to the trademark registration of PIRATE PISS (for beer, ale and lager), finding that the evidence was insufficient to find a likelihood of confusion with the mark PYRAT RUM (for rum). Shortly thereafter, on June 15th, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found that DEAD BIRD BREWING COMPANY (for beer) was confusingly similar to DEADBIRD (for wines). In addition to other evidence, the examining attorney who first denied the application relied on 24 use-based registrations wherein both wine and beer were sold in conjunction with the registered mark. These registrations demonstrated the “relatedness” between beer and wine. Additional relatedness factors were also detailed.While the PIRATE PISS/PYRAT RUM case lacked must evidence to support relatedness, the DEAD BIRD case appeared to include sufficient evidence to support relatedness and a likelihood of confusion.The TTAB further stated that inconsistent prior decisions and actions of examining attorneys have little evidentiary value and are not binding on the Board. See the decision here.