Gainesville, VA asked in Trademark and Intellectual Property for Virginia

Q: Trademark question. Is “spoon la la” an acceptable trademark name for the brand manufacturing utensils/cutlery?

I understand that descriptive words are not allowed, like “bicycles” for bicycles. But if it’s a combination, such as Spoon la la - is that allowed? The brand would be selling utensils, napkins, plates, etc, and spoons is one of the items.

2 Lawyer Answers
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
Fritz-Howard Raymond Clapp
  • Trademarks Lawyer
  • Beverly Hills, CA

A: When descriptive words cannot be claimed exclusively, the addition of unrelated whimsical text (such as "la la") does serve to make a mark sufficiently distinctive that it may function as a source identifier. The mark could be made even more distinctive by using a unique font and/or graphic element.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›

A: The name "Spoon la la" could likely pass muster for trademark registration given that it is not merely descriptive of the goods being sold. While the term "spoon" directly references an item within the product line, the addition of "la la" adds an element of fanciful or arbitrary language that could distinguish the mark as unique. As long as a search confirms there are no existing similar marks that could cause consumer confusion, you would have a strong case for registration.

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