In re Compagnie Generale Maritime

993 F.2d 841 (1993)

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In re Compagnie Generale Maritime

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
993 F.2d 841 (1993)

Facts

Compagnie Generale Maritime (Maritime) (applicant), a French shipping company, applied to register the mark “French Line” for a variety of items. Maritime represented that its goods did not come from France. The examining attorney for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) refused registration on the grounds that the mark was primarily geographically descriptive. On appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (board), Maritime argued that the mark was not primarily geographically descriptive but instead called to mind Maritime’s transatlantic, luxury-steamship passenger service and famous fleet of luxury ocean liners. The examining attorney presented evidence of newspaper clippings that discussed fashions and clothing from France as “French line(s)” and that referred to a brand of cosmetics from France as a “French line of cosmetics.” The board affirmed the refusal of registration, finding that potential purchasers of goods and services under the mark would believe that the goods and services came from France, rendering the mark primarily geographically descriptive to the extent that the goods and services did come from France and deceptively misdescriptive to the extent that they did not. Maritime appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Michel, J.)

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