Trademark Musings

Thoughts on trademark issues by Laura Winston

What’s the Situation with Snooki’s Trademark Application?

Yes, I admit it, I’m blogging about Snooki.  Shame on me.  But when the New York Times picks up a trademark story, that’s generally good enough for me.  So New-Yorker-turned-Jersey-Girl Nicole Polizzi filed a trademark application to register the mark SNOOKI for “printed matter, namely books” and “entertainment in the nature of personal appearances by a television personality”.  The Patent and Trademark Office refused registration based on a prior registration for ADVENTURES OF SNOOKY, covering “a series of children’s books”.  In the refusal, the trademark Examiner argued that “The goods are, in each case, books. Therefore,  given the similarity of marks and identity of goods, there is a likelihood of confusion.”

Trademark Examiners have a duty to protect the public.  In this case, the Examiner is protecting little children from the party girl known as Snooki.  However, I’m not really sure there’s a likelihood of confusion here.  Maybe initial interest confusion, but once the goods are closely inspected, it will be easy to realize that Snooki’s material is not fit for children.

Well, she may be able to overcome this refusal by clarifying the subject matter of the books.  And in any event, the refusal does not apply to Snooki’s “entertainment in the nature of personal appearances by a television personality” services, so she should still be able to get the registration for this.  Now that’s some entertainment!

I can’t even think of another time that the New York Times reported on a refusal of registration by a trademark Examiner.  If you are aware of any, please let me know in the comments.

August 17, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,

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