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Weiner King, Inc. v. Wiener King Corp.

United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals
615 F.2d 512 (1980)


Facts

Weiner King, Inc. (WKI) (plaintiff) opened a restaurant in New Jersey under that name before incorporating in 1967. WKI went on to open two more restaurants before applying for federal registration of the trademark “Weiner King” in 1975. Wiener King Corp. (WKC) (defendant) began using the mark “Wiener King” for its restaurants in 1970 in North Carolina. WKC did not have any actual or constructive knowledge of WKI’s use of the mark. WKC opened 10 more restaurants and then obtained three federal registrations for the trademark “Wiener King” in 1972. WKC did not learn of WKI’s use of the similar mark until late 1972 and continued to expand. When WKI applied for its trademark registration in 1975, WKI argued that it had first begun using the mark “Weiner King” in 1962 and was seeking a territorially unrestricted use of the mark. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) found that WKI would only have concurrent registration of the mark in a 15-mile radius of its restaurants in Flemington, New Jersey. The TTAB determined that WKI would not be able to have concurrent use for its restaurant on Long Beach Island, New Jersey because WKI had abandoned that location. WKI appealed this decision.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Rich, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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