‘Twas a day in December, when all through the blog, we were writing ‘bout trademarks, as if in a fog. When, what to our wondering eyes should appear, but holiday trademarks, so lovely and dear. The PTO said, as it reviewed the files, we’ve got holiday trademarks, we’ve got ‘em in piles!
Have Yourself a Merry Little Trademark
Many folks enjoy watching holiday-themed romantic comedies. You know the ones: a professional woman living in the big city goes to her small hometown for the holidays, falls in love with the recently widowed owner of a Christmas tree farm that the professional woman’s company is trying to destroy, the Christmas tree farm is saved, and the rest is history. We’re pleased to report that Christmas romance is not just for the movies! MR. CHRISTMAS became a registered trademark for “Christmas Ornaments and Decorations of the Non-Electrical Type” way back in 1966 (Registration No. 804025). For decades, Mr. Christmas was alone, pining for his soulmate (we assume). But then, in 2021, a Christmas miracle occurred: he found his true love, Mrs. Christmas (i.e., MR. CHRISTMAS’s owner successfully registered the MRS. CHRISTMAS mark, Registration No. 6434862). Let’s make this one into a movie, rom-com producers!
Some folks love Christmas so much they want to keep the Christmas spirit alive all year. As Ebeneezer Scrooge put it after being visited by the three ghosts: “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.” Scrooge wasn’t the only one who had that idea: a business owner registered ALWAYS CHRISTMAS & Design as a service mark in 1995 (Registration No. 1871712).
Speaking of Ebeneezer Scrooge, in 2006 and 2007, a German company attempted to register A CHRISTMAS CAROL and A Christmas Carol: Scrooge’s Ghostly Tale for use in connection with video games (what???) (Serial Nos. 78907963, 77074598). The USPTO refused to register A CHRISTMAS CAROL, alone, because the Examining Attorney determined that the mark was merely descriptive. The Examining Attorney did allow the application for A CHRISTMAS CAROL: SCROOGE’S GHOSTLY TALE to proceed to publication after the applicant agreed to disclaim “A CHRISTMAS CAROL” and “SCROOGE” as descriptive. No one opposed registration, but ultimately, the applicant failed to provide a statement of use evidencing use of the mark in commerce. Therefore, the application was deemed abandoned. Humbug!
Devoid of old-fashioned jingles and spooky narratives, the USPTO revived the party vibes. In 2021, they allowed World of Illumination to register ROCKIN’ CHRISTMAS (Reg No. 6437502) for a drive-through light show so participants can rave and rock on in their joy-mobiles!
Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah, Come Register the Trademarks
The same company that owns the MR. CHRISTMAS and MRS. CHRISTMAS registrations also holds a 2022 registration for a stylized version of MR. HANUKKAH (Registration No. 6854127). As far as we can tell, however, MR. HANUKKAH does not yet have a partner. We can only hope that one day true love will find MR. HANUKKAH as well. See, we already have a rom-com movie sequel lined up!
Unlike MR. HANUKKAH, HANNAH THE HANUKKAH HERO (Registration No. 5082816) had to overcome some struggles to achieve registration for use in connection with “Plush dolls.” In August 2016, the USPTO issued a notice of abandonment in connection with the application because the applicant had failed to timely file a statement of use. Things were looking grim for HANNAH, but she persevered: a few days later, the Office accepted her petition to revive the application and accepted her specimen and statement of use, paving the way for registration of the mark in November 2016. That was a close one!
We wonder if MR. HANUKKAH or HANNAH have met the newcomer, HANUKKAH VERONICA THE MITZVAH FAIRY, registered in August 2023 (Registration No. 7146448). We have a feeling those three could be good friends. Sadly, they will have to carry on without BRUCE BRUCE THE HANUKKAH MOOSE (Serial No. 77617390) or MIRACLE THE HANUKKAH BEAR (Serial No. 75800094). Though the applicants were originally very excited to seek registration, both later abandoned their efforts, failing to timely file statements of use. Rest assured, though, someone is bound to catch the festive bug and meet new friends. Maybe while initiating a spirited game of HANUKKAH PONG (Registration No. 5645803) this holiday season.
Happy Kwanzaa! Together, There Are Many Trademarks We Can Register
Kwanzaa celebrations involve seven principles symbolized by seven candles. SEVEN SYMBOLS OF KWANZAA is also a registered trademark for “On-line wholesale and retail store services featuring home décor” (Registration No. 6587218). For those needing a caffeine fix during their Kwanzaa celebrations, KWANZAA is a registered trademark for coffee (Registration No. 1821575). For those looking to have a little fun during Kwanzaa, there is KWANZAA BINGO, which registered in March 2023 (Registration No. 7057474). For those looking to keep the party vibes going, head to KWANZAA CRAWL (Registration No. 5361645). During the week-long celebrations, some may be ready for cheerful relaxation, and the KWANZAA YOGA CHALLENGE may be just for you (Registration No. 5905518).
Unfortunately for the home bodies and festive movie lovers, the Grinch stole the munchies! A USPTO examining attorney refused to register KWANZAA POPCORN for “Popped Popcorn” (Serial No. 78114129) based on confusing similarity with prior-registered KWANZAA KRAVINGS for “popped popcorn” and other snacks (Registration No. 2620791). Given the fact that both marks begin with KWANZAA and are for identical goods, that finding is not entirely surprising.
If the KWANZAA POPCORN application had been filed today, it wouldn’t have been blocked by KWANZA KRAVINGS because that mark owner ultimately did not produce sufficient evidence of use to sustain the registration. It was cancelled in May 2009. But we wonder whether the KWANZAA POPCORN applicant would nonetheless get tripped up by the descriptiveness of “POPCORN.” In any event, the SPIRIT OF KWANZAA is alive and well: that mark was registered for community outreach and related services in 2002 (Registration No. 2538355).
A Trademark for the Rest of Us
We also can’t forget the Festivus holiday, particularly since FESTIVUS registered for printed matter and paper goods, such as notebooks diaries, note cards, greeting cards, decals, and printed invitations (Registration No. 5138881). The registrant’s specimens filed with the USPTO show some potential methods for inviting people to your Festivus celebration!
FESTIVUS separately registered (Registration No. 5251920) for toys in the nature of games and playthings, namely, game equipment sold as a unit for playing a board game. Who doesn’t want a Festivus board game to play after airing grievances and performing feats of strength? Sounds like a great way to wind down the holiday season.
Happy Holidays from All of Us at Gadgets, Gigabytes & Goodwill!