Honda Motor Co trademark ruling

Honda Motors
Honda Motors

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the Board) issued a precedential opinion denying trademark registration to a foreign trademark applicant on the ground that he lacked the requisite bona fide intent to use the applied-for mark in commerce for the goods identified in the application.

What is interesting is that all future 1 b applications may be reviewed for their applicants filing in light of the Board’s decision in Honda Motor. A trademark application in the United States that requires a declaration under oath that the applicant has a bona fide intent to use the mark in commerce. This decision will also be of interest to parties to disputes involving such applications.

While the issue of bona fide intent has been addressed in a few Board decisions recently, Honda Motor is the first case involving a Section 44(e) application rather than a Section 1(b) “intent to use” application. It is also the first one decided in favor of the opposer that does not, on its face, have facts suggesting that the applicant was aware of the opposer’s mark and intentionally selected a mark that was the same or similar.

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