• Nov 26 2018
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  • Category: CAFC Updates

The Saint Louis Brewery (“SLB”) is a craft brewery that was founded in 1989 by Thomas Schlafly and DanielKopman, began selling beer with the SCHLAFLY logo in 1991, and asserts that it “has continuously sold beer under its SCHLAFLY trademark” ever since. In 2011 SLB applied for trademark registration for the word mark “SCHLAFLY” for use with various types of beer. The application drew opposition from two relatives of Thomas Schlafly (“the Opposers”). The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) denied the opposition. The Opposers appeal, arguing that the TTAB did not recognize that the mark was “primarily merely a surname,” and that the TTAB improperly accepted that the mark has acquired secondary meaning although the applicant did not provide survey evidence.  Noting that no law or precedent suggests that surnames cannot be registered as trademarks if they have acquired distinctiveness in trademark use, the CAFC concludes that the mark “SCHLAFLY” for beer meets the requirements for registration, and affirms the decision of the TTAB.

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