Simply adding a design element to someone else’s trademark almost always leads to trouble

Applicant applied to register the following Logo for clothes and headwear:

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The TTAB denied registration claiming that the “COOL” (albeit stylized) portion of the mark was dominant and that it was likely to be confused with an existing trademark registration for COOL!, also for clothing.

While the design component of a trademark can be the dominant portion of a Design-Word Logo, most of the time it will be the word portion that is used in the Likelihood of Confusion analysis applied by the USPTO.

Personally, I thought the “cool” portion of Applicant’s mark was so stylized (i.e., the “C” resembling a head, and the two “o”s looking like eyes) that it was not immediately obvious that the word “cool” was incorporated into the Logo.

However, it is important to remember that standard word marks cover all stylizations of the trademark word….so arguably, the cited registration does indeed cover the clever incorporation of the word “cool” into the Logo design.

Image Courtesy of: fdecomlte Used under Creative Commons license.

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