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White v. Paramount Pictures Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
1997 WL 76957 (1997)


James White (plaintiff) was a member of a band called The Romulans. To promote the band, White created, sold, and distributed a connect-the-dots game beginning in 1982. The game included the mark “THE ROMULANS,” and White attempted to register the mark by filing an application in 1991. According to White, he sold about 20 to 25 games per year and gave away many more, but he did not retain business records of these transactions. In 1992, Paramount Pictures Corporation (Paramount) (defendant) opposed White’s registration of “ROMULANS” as a trademark because Paramount had used the term in its Star Trek movies and products from 1966 onward. At a hearing before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), Paramount obtained a summary judgment because White’s use of the game was not a bona fide use in commerce of a good. White appealed the TTAB’s decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Smith, J.)

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