The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) has affirmed a refusal to grant Empire Technology Development a trademark for “coffee flour,” finding “clear evidence of generic use” of the term. In re Empire Tech. Dev. LLC, Serial No. 85876688 (TTAB, entered August 3, 2017). The company, which created the flour from ground coffee cherry skins, pulp and pectin, claimed first use of the mark in 2012. TTAB found that Empire “failed to develop and promulgate a generic term other than ‘coffee flour’ and to educate the public to use some other name” and used coffee flour as a generic term in its advertising materials and in media coverage. To allow trademark protection for a generic term, even when identified with a first user, would grant the owner a monopoly because a competitor could not describe the product as what it is, the board said. Moreover, the board said Empire’s failure to police the usage “undercuts” its claim that the public would understand coffee flour to be anything other than a generic term.