Juice Generation filed a service mark application for the following design mark for use in connection with juice bar services:

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GS Enterprises opposed registration of the Juice Generation trademark on the grounds of a likelihood of confusion with the following four registered service marks, all registered for restaurant services: 

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The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) held that the similarity of the marks, services, trade channels, buyers and purchasing conditions weighed in favor of finding likelihood of confusion between the marks and sustained the opposition.  Juice Generation appealed the decision to the Federal Circuit. 

When comparing the marks, the TTAB found the words “PEACE LOVE AND JUICE” to be the dominant feature in Juice Generation’s mark, rather than the design.  The TTAB also found that, of those words, “PEACE LOVE” were the most dominant. The TTAB then compared “PEACE LOVE” to “PEACE & LOVE,” which is the entirety of GS’s mark and, not surprisingly, found them to be nearly identical.  The TTAB discounted the evidence submitted by Juice Generation showing a number of third party marks containing “Peace” and “Love” to support its argument that that GS did not have a strong mark and was not entitled to a broad scope of protection. 

The Federal Circuit concluded that the TTAB’s analysis inadequately considered the strength of GS Enterprise’s marks.  In particular, the court found that the TTAB improperly discounted the evidence of numerous third-party registrations and common law uses of marks containing “PEACE & LOVE,” as well as the suggestiveness or potential descriptiveness of the phrase “PEACE & LOVE.”  The Federal Circuit also found the TTAB erred in insisting on specifics as to the third–party use of those marks and in not considering the evidence that third-party use and registrations indicate the phrase is weak in the food service industry.

The Federal Circuit concluded that the TTAB improperly dissected the applicant’s mark by considering only the “PEACE LOVE” component of the mark, without considering the impact that the mark as a whole (i.e. PEACE LOVE AND JUICE and Design) would have on the meaning or connotation to the purchasing public.  Thus, it vacated the TTAB’s finding of a likelihood of confusion and remanded the issue back to the TTAB for further proceedings.

Juice Generation, Inc., v. GS Enterprises, LLC, case no. 14-1853 (Fed. Cir. July 20, 2015).