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Author Topic: Typeset  (Read 499 times)


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« on: 12-04-17 at 09:26 am »

Can anybody explain the difference between Trademark types:
Typeset (Words/letter/Number) & Standard Char Text

I am led to believe that typeset is old and no longer used for new filings but it still appears in the USPTO,  if the typeset registered mark is "PING PING" can i make a t-shirt with "PING PING" text on the front assuming theres no other registered TMs ?

I cant seem to find anything about this mark type anywhere

Robert T Nicholson

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Re: Typeset
« Reply #1 on: 12-04-17 at 02:21 pm »

You are confusing trademark type with drawing type.

There are two types of trademark:  a design mark and a word mark (actually there are more, but for this purpose we will keep it simple).

A word mark protects the TEXT.  There is no claim made as to a particular presentation.

A design mark protects a visual design, such as a logo. It may or may not contain text.  If it does contain text, that text may be rendered in a specific font, color, etc.  A design mark protects both the words, and the visual design elements. 

In order to register a design mark, you must submit a drawing.  For their own purposes (and search purposes), the USPTO distinguishes the type of drawing submitted:  Typeset, Illustration with Words, Illustration without Words, etc.

So, in the case of your example, the PING PING trademark is a design mark consisting of words presented in a specific font and style.

The design is protected - a competitor could not set their own name or words in the same font and style.  But the words are ALSO protected.  (Although the protection would be stronger if the company had also applied for a separate Word Mark.)

Now down to the fundamentals:  trademarks are intended to identify the source of goods or services.  Trademarks conflict if they are likely to cause confusion.

In most cases, that standard means that the marks themselves are similar AND apply to similar goods or services.  If the goods or services are very different, there is no confusion.  So, for example, one company could produce PING PING brand refrigerators, while another could produce PING PING brand dresses, and they would not be in conflict.

T-shirts are a special case.  Although most companies do not register their marks to protect clothing, the use of a mark on clothing may still be a violation of trademark rights if it implies endorsement, or dilutes or defames the mark.

Now, to answer your question:  can you use PING PING on a T-shirt?  That depends on a number of factors.

  • Since PING PING mark is a design mark, if you use a different style that would be an argument in your favor.
  • If the PING PING mark is associated with clothing, that would be an argument against your use.
  • If the PING PING mark is very well know or famous, that would be an argument against your use.
  • If PING PING is an ordinary English word or phrase, that would be an argument in your favor; if it's a made-up or fanciful word, that would be an argument against your use.

Finally, you need to consider the likelihood of the other company suing you, whether or not you have a strong case.  If it's a small, local brand in a specialized market, chances of being sued are very low.  On the other hand, if it's Disney, or Nike, they will go after you. 

Sorry that was so long winded.  Hope it helps.

This post is provided for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.

Robert Nicholson Consulting | Copyright Safeguard | ED Treatment Center


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