[To highlight B&E’s trademark practice, the Fort Worth Business & Employment Law Reporter is starting a new feature highlighting some of the trademark decisions of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.] 

Recently, In re Architectural Mailboxes, LLC, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) refused registration of applicant’s BILT mark for “non-metal mailboxes, excluding office products,” determining that the mark was likely to cause confusion with another trademark owner’s previously registered BUILT TO INSPIRE mark for “office furniture, namely, lecterns; table dividers; non-metal mailboxes; cabinets, and storage cabinets, furniture cabinets; tack boards; display boards; track systems consisting of tracks and rollers for cabinet drawers, being parts of cabinets.”  Among other things, the TTAB noted that there was a complete overlap in the goods, which weighed heavily in favor of a likelihood of confusion and also created a presumption that the trade channels and prospective customers overlapped.  The TTAB further rejected the applicant’s argument that BUILT TO INSPIRE was conceptually weak, noting that applicant’s evidence of other registered marks that included the term BUILT were not for the same category of goods and service at issue in this application—i.e., non-metal mailboxes. 

Considering the similarity of appearance, sound, meaning, and commercial impression of the marks, the TTAB determined that there was a likelihood of confusion between the two marks.  Thus, the TTAB affirmed the refusal to register applicant’s BILT mark.