Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
Patent and Trademark Office (P.T.O.)
*1 IN RE RAYCHEM CORPORATION
Serial No. 690,098
June 29, 1989
Herbert G. Burkard for Raychem Corporation
Jacqueline W. Abrams
Trademark Examining Attorney
Law Office 8
(Sidney Moskowitz, Managing Attorney)
Before Cissel, Seeherman and Quinn
Opinion by Cissel
Applicant seeks registration on the Principal Register of the term "TINEL-LOCK" for "metal rings for attaching a cable shield to an adapter" in Class 6. [FN1] The specimens of use applicant submitted in support of registration, described in the application as labels, are reproduced below:
PCN 546679 MOD( ) QTY.1
The Examining Attorney required new specimens because she contended that the mark shown on applicant's drawing, "TINEL-LOCK," did not agree with the mark "TRO6AI-TINEL-LOCK-RING" used on the specimens. When the requirement was made final, applicant appealed. Both applicant and the Examining Attorney filed briefs. An oral hearing was requested and was conducted May 10, 1989.
Submitted with the application was a sample advertising brochure, which refers to the "Tinel-Lock system" and to "Tinel-Lock heat-recoverable rings for cable shielding termination." The brochure explains that the "Tinel-Lock ring is made from Tinel, a special shape-memory metal, which shrinks approximately 6% when heated, permanently attaching the cable shield to the adapter body." Reference is made to "Tinel-Lock" adapters and rings at several places in the advertisement. "Tinel" is identified as a registered trademark, presumably for the metal of which applicant's goods are made. The third page of the brochure explains the part numbering schemes for both the "Tinel-Lock adapter and ring (2 piece-system)" and the "Tinel-Lock ring only."
Applicant submitted additional evidence with its appeal brief, but this evidence has not been considered, because it was not timely made of record. Trademark Rule 2.142(d) requires the record to be complete prior to the filing of appeal. Additional evidence may be submitted after that point with the express permission of the Board, which in this case applicant never requested.
The position of the Examining Attorney is that applicant is seeking to register only part of the designation used as a mark on the specimen labels. Applicant, on the other hand, argues that "TRO6AI" is merely a part designation number and "RING" is the name of the goods, and that these elements shown on the specimens do not form part of its mark.
We agree with applicant. The generic name of the product is plainly "RING." Both applicant and the Examining Attorney use this word as the name for applicant's goods. Ordinarily, even if it is used with a trademark, the generic name of a product need not be included as part of the words applicant seeks to register unless it forms a part of a unitary mark. The issue, therefore, is whether the combination of the trademark (source-identifying) matter and the generic term form a unitary expression with a single commercial impression.
*2 As to whether "TRO6AI" must be included in the drawing of the mark, the record establishes that this alpha-numeric designation is in fact a part or stock number. The Examining Attorney concedes (p. 2 of her brief) that the "TRO6AI" designation shown on the specimens is a part number. The advertising brochure originally submitted with the application explains that the letters "TR" indicate "Tinel-Lock ring;" that the next two numbers designate "entry size;" that the next letter, "A," connotes the braid of the cable shield; and that the final letter, "I," is used to note that the ring is "insulated."
The issue is whether or not the matter sought to be registered creates a commercial impression separate and apart from the model number and generic term in association with which it is used.
A part or stock number does not usually function as a source identifier. Even when a part number is joined by a hyphen to other matter which does serve a trademark function, the trademark is registrable without showing the part number as well in the drawing. In re Sansui Electric Co., Ltd. 194 USPQ 202 (TTAB 1977).
In the case at hand the alpha-numeric designation appearing on the specimen in front of "TINEL-LOCK" is not essential to the commercial impression of "TINEL-LOCK" as a trademark for applicant's metal rings. In a similar sense, the generic term "RING," although connected to the model number and the source-identifying term, "TINEL LOCK," by a hyphen, nonetheless plays no integral role in forming the portion of applicant's mark which distinguishes applicant's goods from those of others. Applicant therefore need not include either the part number or the generic term in the drawing, because neither is essential to the commercial impression created by the mark as shown in the specimens. Prospective purchasers of these highly technical goods would readily recognize both the part number and the name of the goods as such, and would therefore look only to the trademark "TINEL-LOCK" for source identification. The fact that hyphens connect both the part number and the generic term to the mark does not, under the circumstances presented by this case, create a unitary expression such that "TINEL-LOCK" has no significance by itself as a trademark. Such independent significance is in fact supported by applicant's use of the mark without the part number or generic designation in its advertising materials. Accordingly, the requirement for different specimens showing "TINEL-LOCK" used alone is reversed.
R. F. Cissel
E. J. Seeherman
T. J. Quinn
Members, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board