The Applicant sought to register ZOMBIE CINDERELLA for dolls. The Examining Attorney refused the application as confusingly similar to the earlier registered mark WALT DISNEY’S CINDERELLA, also for dolls. On appeal, the Board found that although the goods are identical, and thus are presumed to move in the same trade channels and to be offered to the same classes of consumers, there is no likelihood of confusion.
The Board found that “CINDERELLA” as used with a doll is a weak term and entitled to a limited scope of protection, in that it names the fairytale character depicted by the doll. The story of Cinderella has been around since 1697 and the Board agreed the character has widespread public recognition. The Board also found the term CINDERELLA to have limited source-identifying power in the marketplace after reviewing evidence of numerous “Cinderella” dolls in the marketplace sold by different companies.
Comparing the marks directly, the Board found that the “WALT DISNEY’S” portion of the cited registration, in the possessive form indicates that the dolls are the Registrant’s version of the character as opposed to another’s version. Finally, it was the combination of the terms ZOMBIE and CINDERELLA in the Applicant’s mark that tipped the scales against a finding of likelihood of confusion. The Board found the combined terms create a unitary mark with an incongruous impression; an “uneasy mixture of innocence and horror.”
In re United Trademark Holdings, Inc., Serial No. 85706113 (TTAB, October 9, 2014) [not precedential].