The TTAB denied the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s likelihood of confusion claim against a pizza restaurant that mimics the Garden State Parkway sign https://t.co/uLb0nPV8am #trademarks pic.twitter.com/L4iwOZyCNA
— Proof of Use (@ProofofUse) May 16, 2018
I blogged about this dispute — well, more accurately, I riffed off it — here, in 2014.
This appears, to one only casually familiar with the record, to be an appropriate resolution. Key holdings of the main aspect of the TTAB decision:
Considering the record in its entirety, we cannot conclude that Plaintiff has
proven common law rights in its mark for restaurant services. It is undisputed that Plaintiff does not provide such services directly, and its lease arrangements with third parties who provide such services under their own marks are insufficient. We lack proof that consumers of these restaurants would have encountered Plaintiff’s mark in connection with these services. Therefore, Plaintiff has not established priority as to restaurant services. . . .
Turning to the goods and services recited in Plaintiff’s registrations, Plaintiff has not shown the relatedness of these goods and services, and has not introduced evidence that consumers would expect the same source that provides them to also provide restaurant services. We do not have, for example, evidence showing that those whose manage and maintain highways frequently also offer or sponsor restaurant services under the same mark.
On this record, we do not find Plaintiff’s goods and services related to Defendants’ services. . . .
Considering all the relevant factors, we conclude that confusion as to source is unlikely. Although Defendants’ mark is similar to Plaintiff’s, the lack of relatedness of the restaurant services with which it is used to Plaintiff’s goods and services is dispositive, regardless of some degree of strength of Plaintiff’s mark, and some overlap in the trade channels. Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Section 2(d) claim is dismissed.