The TTAB Says “WHO’S WHO ONLINE” Is Generic

On July 2, 2012, in Trademarks, by Brian A. Hall

UnIP (UnIntellectual Property): “Who’s Who Online” Trademark

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) refused to register “Who’s Who Online” in connection with “providing an online directory information service in the nature of biographical and professional data about individuals of accomplishment” in International Class 35.  Interestingly, applicant had already owned a registered trademark for the same mark, albeit on the Supplemental Register, but let it inadvertently lapse.  Nevertheless, the Board affirmed the examining attorney’s refusal to register the mark, which was based upon dictionary definitions of the components of the mark as well as articles and advertisements from the Internet showing widespread use of the phrase “Who’s Who Online.”  Ultimately, it was held that “Who’s Who Online” was incapable of registration because it does not distinguish the services of the applicant from any others.

Would you rather be missing from the list of “Who’s Who Online” or UnIP?  I know my answer.

In re 21st Century Communications SCP, Serial No. 77650780 (June 11, 2012) [not precedential].


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