Accepting an agreement reached by the parties, the TTAB found that applicant Frasca Food and Wine (FFW) is entitled to a concurrent use registration for the mark FRASCA for bar and restaurant services, covering the entire United States except for the states of Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. It ordered that Registrant's prior registration be geographically restricted to those three states. Frasca Food and Wine, Inc. v. Dunlay's Rocsoe, LLC Concurrent Use No. 94002752 (July 14, 2017) [not precedential] (Opinion by Judge Lorelei Ritchie).
The Concurrent Use Agreement (dated March 10, 2016) stated that FFW has used the mark FRASCA in Boulder, Colorado, since July 2004. FFW applied to register the mark, limited geographically, in May 2016, naming Dunlay's as an excepted user.
Registrant Dunlay's had registered the mark FRASCA in January 2011, claiming a first use date of May 17, 2006 for its Chicago restaurant.
The Board commenced this concurrent use proceeding on June 29, 2017. It then suspended the proceeding, reviewed the Concurrent Use Agreement, and found it acceptable. The parties agreed and stated that there have been no incidents of confusion in ten years of co-existence, and that they operate substantially different restaurants, offer substantially different products at different price points, and market to different consumers through separate trade channels." They agreed not to use the mark in the other's territory. And they addressed the issue of "overlapping market activities," avoid confusion, and address and resolve any issues that arise
Concurrent use agreements that include information as to why the parties believe confusion is unlikely, evidencing the parties’ business-driven belief that there is no likelihood of confusion,and providing provisions to avoid any potential confusion, are entitled to great weight in favor of a finding that confusion is not likely. In re Four Seasons Hotels Ltd., 987 F.2d 1565, 26 USPQ2d 1071 (Fed. Cir. 1993); Bongrain Int’l (Am.) Corp. v. Delice de France Inc., 811 F.2d 1479, 1 USPQ2d 1775 (Fed. Cir. 1987).
And so each party will end up with a geographically-restricted registration for FRASCA.