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Haughton Elevator Co. v. Seeberger

Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents
85 U.S.P.Q. 80 (1950)


Charles Seeberger (defendant) registered the term “ESCALATOR” as a trademark in 1900 and assigned it to the Otis Elevator Company. Decades later, the Haughton Elevator Company (plaintiff) petitioned the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to have the trademark registration cancelled, alleging that the term “escalator” had become a generic term to the general public. Haughton presented evidence that the general public, industry code, and the Otis Elevator Company itself used the word “escalator” to refer to any moving inclined staircase. The examiner sustained the petition for cancellation, and Seeberger appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Murphy, C.)

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