Yes, it has finally arrived: the end of December. Whether you’re someone who views the day as bitter sweet, dreading the day when the dirty looks from your neighbors force you to finally take down your decorations in February, or whether you were ready for it all to be the over the very moment you noticed the lights, stockings, and holiday candy hit the shelves in your local Target or Wal-Mart on October 30th, the season is filled with memories, symbols, and personal meaning and connections.
While others may focus on a more broad meaning of Christmas (the spirit of giving, or the joy of receiving), a recent Opposition Proceeding based on a logo for the letter “C” left me wondering, what does the first letter of the Christmas mean to me, and to the public in general?
For some, particularly in the upper Midwest, the letter “C” is not likely to trigger anything other than COLD (with a wind chill of -15 as I post this). For others, it may be difficult to think of the Coming Credit Card bill in January.
Okay, maybe I’m being too Coy. I’ll try to focus this a little bit, when you think of a Company’s logo, with the letter C, what do you think of? Okay, I’ll Cede some ground, we Could work with a more Concise Category, how about Clothing? Any of the below Create a Connection in your Cranium?
Concede? Chanel, Coach, and Chaps (e.g. Ralph Lauren). Okay, clothing may be too broad. The Case I’m Considering is a recent Opposition filed by the Chicago Cubs against Clear Channel for a C and Design mark, both shown below:
Clear Channel on the left and Chicago Cubs on the right.
Clearly, Clothing isn’t sufficiently Confined. To Correctly Consider the Closeness of these “C” marks, how about we look at marks registered for baseball Caps or athletic goods?
Hm. Well Certainly any marks registered for Collegiate programs, like those below, must be ignored, even if they are registered and used in Connection with baseball Caps, Competitions and Exhibitions:
Consistent with this Conclusion, there Couldn’t be any Confusion with the Collection of marks below, registered for professional sports teams. After all, they’re either different professional sports, or at least in the Case of the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians, different Cities!
Consequently, I must Concede that the Chicago Cubs have Convinced me that the letter (and Consonant) C is uniquely associated with the Chicago Cubs. Certainly Consumers will not understand the C logo as referencing the City of Chicago or their Chosen Club Team, the Cubs.
Although I admit, I am not quite sure how to deal with this mark:
The registration is owned by the Chicago Athletic Association Corp. for use in connection with “services rendered to encourage all manly sports. . . . ,” with a claimed first use date of March 1890.
Come to think of it, I’m starting to wonder if maybe the Copyright Office might have a Claim against all of these parties discussed above…
In all serious, perhaps the Chicago Cubs do have a legitimate Claim. In fact, I hope they win. After all, they really could use one. Even though my Twin Cities Minnesota Twins have had a couple of bad years, we did win two World Series titles in the modern era. If you can’t win on the field, you might as well win in the Courtroom…
In Conclusion, wherever you are, and whichever your team, may your holidays be filled with friends and family, and laughter and joy. Merry Christmas!