When entrepreneurs, tech startups and other new companies wish to get trademark registration for a certain word, logo, or catchphrase, or trademark registration of Cyber Monday kind of phrases the trademark due diligence process becomes paramount before filing a federal trademark registration application in the USPTO because while a word or brand name may seem attractive to the brand owners for its market appeal, the word or phrase may be too descriptive to gain trademark registration protection. Various attempts by savvy business owners and entrepreneurs to trademark the term CYBER MONDAY or BLACK FRIDAY illustrates the descriptiveness hurdle to trademark registration.
The weekdays immediately following Thanksgiving are notorious for rampant holiday shopping by American consumers. “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” as they are known, are synonymous with discounted pricing, and nearly all retail and e-commerce brands include those referents in advertising for their respective annual promotions. This begs the question: does anyone own the trademark registration rights to these coined terms as they pertain to retail services?
Trademark Registration of CYBER MONDAY and BLACK FRIDAY
There are a handful of U.S. trademark registrations for the BLACK FRIDAY without any additional terms, but none in connection with retail services, likely because the phrase is so widely used by the consuming public that it is not able to indicate the source of any goods or services related to retail promotions and pricing deals. In other words, BLACK FRIDAY is a descriptive trademark for retail services and likely will not obtain trademark registration in that category.
- BLACK FRIDAY registered in connection with beer
- BLACK FRIDAY registered in connection with advertising services
- BLACK FRIDAY registered in connection with online gaming
As for CYBER MONDAY, there are no exact matches registered in connection with online commerce, only slight variations. This is probably due to the descriptive nature of the phrase and its common use by many retailers for promotions and sales on the same day of the year.
- EVERYTHINGCYBERMONDAY registered in connection with online advertising and related services
- CYBER MOMDAY registered in connection with online retail store services
- CYBER-STOCK MONDAY registered in connection with wholesale e-commerce services featuring pet supplies
- IT’S CYBRA MONDAY registered in connection with e-commerce services featuring intimate apparel and retail store services featuring intimate apparel
- CYBER MANDAY registered in connection with resort and housing accommodations services, specifically providing food and lodging that focus on promoting patrons’ general health and well-being
- CYBER RUNDAY registered in connection with organizing and conducting running events, the proceeds of which go to charity
- TGI Cyber Monday registered in connection with the advertising and online information services
The widespread use of these similar phrases highlights the importance of conducting due diligence before adopting a given brand name to determine whether a proposed application for trademark registration will be met with potential conflicting marks or descriptiveness hurdles during the federal registration process. Prior to filing an application of trademark registration of Cyber Monday kind of phrases for federal registration, entrepreneurs should consult with an experienced trademark attorney to discuss the benefits of a search and clearance report and other trademarks due diligence before filing an application in the USPTO.