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 1987 TTAB LEXIS 91; 3 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1714

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

January 29, 1987, Decided

Serial No. 493,829


 [**1714]  Opinion by Rooney, Member:

Remington Products, Inc. has appealed the refusal to register the term PROUDLY MADE IN USA (MADE IN USA disclaimed) for electric shavers and parts thereof 1 on the principal register under Section 2(f). 2 The ground for refusal is that the term does not function as a trademark within the meaning of Section 45 of the Trademark Act and is therefore unregistrable under Sections 1 and 2.

The issue on appeal is stated by both applicant [*2]  and the Examining Attorney to be whether applicant's slogan functions as a trademark. Specificallythe Examining Attorney argues that the term sought to be registered is an unimaginative embellishment of a common informational phrase; that adding the word "proudly" does not change the informational character of the slogan; that applicant has attempted to elevate an informational slogan to the level of a trademark by prominently displaying it on its packages, using the letters "TM" in connection therewith and by attempting to promote the phrase as its own on television and in magazines. It is the Examining Attorney's position that, while the absence of "trademark trappings" may be evidence that the subject matter sought to be registered does not function as a trademark, the reverse does not necessarily follow. In support of her position, the Examining Attorney submitted the results of a Lexis/Nexis search.

Applicant's position is that the word "proudly" adds a new dimension to what is, admittedly, a commonly used expression on numerous products; that that word, appearing before the phrase, changes the impression from purely informational to one of pride. The expression is catchy [*3]  and is prominent on applicant's packaging, it is asserted, and presents an image separate and apartfrom other matter thereon. Declarations submitted by applicant indicate that in the three [**1715]  years prior to the date thereof, applicant had sold one hundred twenty million dollars worth of shavers and had expended four hundred fifty thousand dollars in advertising the product, assertedly causing applicant's slogan to become recognized by the purchasing public as indicating the source of applicant's shavers. As further evidence of recognition, applicant has also submitted a letter sent to it by a third party who requested applicant's permission to use the notation PROUDLY MADE IN USA on its own goods.

The term, trademark, means "any word, name, symbol or device or any combination thereof adopted and used by a manufacturer or merchant to identify his goods and distinguish them from those manufactured or sold by others." (Section 45 of the Trademark Act of 1946). We note that not every word or combination thereof which appears on a party's goods functions as a trademark. See In re Morganroth, 208 U.S.P.Q. 284 (TTAB 1980). Thus, the mere fact that applicant's slogan appears [*4]  on the specimens, even separate and apart from any other indicia which appear on them, does not make it a trademark. To be a mark, the term, or slogan, must be used in a manner calculated to project to purchasers or potential purchasers a single source or origin for the goods in question. Mere intent that a term function as a trademark is not enough in and of itself, any more than attachment of the trademark symbol would be, to make a term a trademark.

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 1987 TTAB LEXIS 91 *;  3 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1714 **

In re Remington Products, Inc.

Disposition:  [*1]  

Decision: Accordingly, the refusal to register is affirmed.


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