Federal Circuit: TTAB applied wrong test in finding Coca-Cola’s ZERO mark not generic for soft drinks
In Royal Crown Company Inc v The Coca-Cola Company (Appeal No 2016-2375, 20 June 2018) (precedential), the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) vacated the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB)'s decision of 23 May 2016, in which the TTAB found that the opposers had failed to prove that ZERO is generic for soft drinks and sports drinks. The TTAB also found that applicant Coca-Cola had established acquired distinctiveness in ZERO for soft drinks. The appellate court, however, ruled that the TTAB had "erred in its legal framing" of the genericness issue and in failing to assess the level of descriptiveness of ZERO.
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