This appeal is from the decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
As grounds for cancellation, appellee W. E. Bassett Co. (Bassett) established use and registration
The board held:
Before us, appellant Wiss contends, based on the use of QUICK-TRIM, "[i]t is appellant that has the superior right to use `TRIM' in whatever form on any cutting implement, since it would be using its mark in the normal expansion of business, i. e., from grass shears to scissors and shears." Appellant also argues that TRIM, because of its descriptiveness, is a weak mark which "could not have acquired any secondary meaning due to appellant's long prior and concurrent use of its trademark `QUICK-TRIM' and the existence of [certain] third party registrations for `TRIM' and other marks including `TRIM' * * *." For similar reasons appellant contends that appellee is not entitled to the protection given the owner of a "family" of trademarks. Finally, appellant asserts that there is no likelihood of confusion between the marks as applied to the goods.
Appellant's contentions that the mark TRIM is incapable of distinguishing goods is totally without merit. While the term may be highly suggestive of the functions of some of the goods on which it is used, such as nail clippers, it is not so as to other goods, such as nail files, to which it is also applied. More importantly, the record in this case solidly establishes that Bassett has developed a strong secondary meaning for the mark. Even appellant's President, Vice President and one of its Assistant Sales Managers have admitted that they identify TRIM with Bassett. See also W. E. Bassett Co. v. H. C. Cook Co., 156 F.Supp. 209 (D.Conn. 1957); W. E. Bassett Co. v. Revlon, Inc., 147 U.S.P.Q. 309 (S.D.N.Y. 1965), aff'd 354 F.2d 868 (2d Cir. 1966).
When the identical marks are being used on different lines of goods, and the issue is whether the prior user's line of goods would normally or reasonably expand to include the other line of goods, the answer depends on whether the goods "were of such a nature that purchasers would generally expect them to emanate from the same source." J.C. Hall Co. v. Hallmark Cards, Inc., 340 F.2d 960, 963, 52 C.C.P.A. 981, 985 (1965). We think that where the question of normal expansion of trade arises between different marks applied to different lines of goods, the differences between the marks must also be considered. Depending upon that difference, the prior user may not be "expanding" an established trade under an established mark at all. Considering the differences between the marks and between
Under the facts of this case it is unnecessary to determine whether Bassett has established ownership of a family of marks.
As to the issue of likelihood of confusion between Bassett's marks and TRIMLINE, we are unable to improve on the board's reasoning, quoted above.
The decision of the board is affirmed.