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Slide Presentation Mere Advertisement for Obtaining Orders

Posted by James Juo | Jul 28, 2023 | 0 Comments

Use of a trademark in advertising is not enough to qualify as a specimen of trademark use. In re Siny Corp., 920 F.3d 1331, 2019 USPQ2d 127099 (Fed. Cir. 2019) (“Mere advertising is not enough . . .”); Avakoff v. S. Pac. Co., 765 F.2d 1097, 226 USPQ 435, 436 (Fed. Cir. 1985); In re Anpath Grp., Inc., 95 USPQ2d 1377, 1380 (TTAB 2010) (“a clear ‘line of demarcation' has been drawn between mere advertising materials, . . . and point-of-purchase promotional materials which have been found acceptable as a display associated with the goods”).

The specimen submitted for the SUBSEA 2.0 trademark application covering oil and gas drilling equipment, were “slides from a live sales presentation given to potential customers for purposes of soliciting orders for the equipment.”

The TTAB found that the slides constituted “mere advertising” and was not a point-of-sale display showing trademark use. In re FMC Technologies, Inc., Ser. No. 88705569 (TTAB July 25, 2023).

The TTAB found that the slides were not like the trade show display that was found to be acceptable in In re Shipley Co., 230 USPQ 691 (TTAB 1986), where the goods could be ordered at the trade show booth.

Here, there was no evidence that the goods were being sold through the slide presentation. Instead, the slides were “for the purpose of obtaining orders.” The slides did not provide prices or other information about purchasing the goods. The slides were “general marketing information, not detailed product information that would enable one to make a purchase.”

Moreover, the slide presentations were confidential, and there was no evidence that the slides were widely used within the relevant market.

Thus, the TTAB affirmed that the specimen of use was inadequate.

Thomas P. Howard, LLC is experienced in trademarks nationwide including in Colorado.

About the Author

James Juo

James Juo is an experienced intellectual property attorney. He has successfully litigated various intellectual property disputes involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. He also has counseled clients on the scope and validity of patent and trademark rights.


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