Applicant sought to register the mark BUYAUTOPARTS.COM on the Supplemental Register for “on-line retail store service featuring auto parts.”  Unable to overcome the rejection of the application on the basis that the mark is generic, Applicant appealed to the TTAB and argued that “buy” does not identify a genus of services associated with “selling” and that the mark would be generic only if Applicant purchased auto parts from others.  Applicant also argued that the “.com” suffix changes the commercial impression and makes the mark distinctive.

Not surprisingly, the TTAB did not agree with Applicant.  The TTAB ruled that the genus was identified in the identification of services, and that general consumers of auto parts comprised the relevant public.  The TTAB succinctly affirmed the refusal to register Applicant’s proposed mark based on the following findings: (1) “the central focus of any retail sales service is to facilitate a transaction in which a seller sells, and a buyer buys, a product”; (2) Applicant offers its auto parts for sale only, thus, buying auto parts is a central focus of the service; (3) the record shows that relevant members of the public use and understand the words “buy auto parts” as referring to the retail purchase and sale of auto parts; and (4) “.com” is widely understood to indicate the services are offered online.  

In re Meridian Rack & Pinion DBA buyautoparts.com, USPQ2d 1462 (TTAB April 2015) [precedential].