TTABlog test: Is BEST KNIGHT GAMES simply descriptive of board games? – Trademark

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The USPTO refused to register the proposed trademark BEST KNIGHT GAMES for “board games; card games; checkers games; chess games; dice games; equipment sold as a unit for playing board games; go games; parlor games; puzzle games; strategy; table games; chess equipment and accessories; chess clocks; chess timers”, concluding that the mark was merely descriptive of the goods. The applicant argued that the mark is “evocative of the goods covered by demand and suggests that the products can be enjoyed at night and come from a source that prides itself on being honorary, fun, excellent and entertaining.” How do you think that came out? In re Portland Chess Shop LLCApplication Serial No. 90433730 (November 15, 2022) [not precedential] (Opinion of Judge Marc A. Bergsman).


Reviewing counsel Andrea Cornwell relied, unsurprisingly, on dictionary definitions of “best”, “knight” and “games”, leading the Commission to conclude that “when used in connection with the goods in the description of the goods listed above by the applicant, consumers will perceive BEST KNIGHT GAMES as superior activities involving a mounted medieval soldier in armor.” Third-party websites using the terms ” knight games” and “best night games” confirmed this meaning.

The Board rejected the applicant’s argument that the proposed mark evokes the goods and “does not immediately convey to the average consumer information about the quality, feature, function or characteristics of the applicant’s goods”. The Commission concluded that “when the BEST KNIGHT GAMES mark is used in connection with parlor games, parlor games or strategy games, consumers immediately understand that the activity (the game) involves medieval mounted soldiers wearing armor (i.e. knights)”.

Plaintiff also argued that its use of “Best” makes the mark BEST KNIGHT GAMES registrable because “Best” does not specify what aspects, if any, are better than other similar products. The Council did not move. “Applicant’s use of the word “Best” is commendation. Commendation terms, those which attribute quality or excellence to goods or services, such as the applicant’s use of “Best” in BEST KNIGHT GAMES, are merely descriptive under section 2(e)(1) of the Trade Marks Act.”

And so, the Board upheld the denial of registration.

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