The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit dismissed the appeal by the well-known singer Will.i.am against a USPTO decision for refusal of a trademark “I AM” applied for Classes 3, 9 and 14.
The background of this case is that the Will.i.am’s company Symbolic is the owner of “Will.i.am” trademarks for classes 9 and 41 as well as trademarks “I am” for class 25.
In the case at hand, Symbolic tried to register a word trademark “I AM”for classes 3, 9 and 14.
The USPTO refused the application on the ground of earlier identical marks for similar goods in classes 3, 9 and 14.
Due to this refusal, Symbolic made some specifications in the trademark application stating that all included goods “associated with William Adams, professionally known as ‘will.i.am’”.
The USPTO considered this as insufficient because there was no evidence which to suggest that the singer is well-known under the name “I am” with regard to the relevant goods.
The court upheld this decision as correct not finding stable evidence that William Adams is known as “I am” among the consumers. What’s more, the court considers such specification as insufficient, which cannot overcome the possibility for confusion between the respected trademarks.