TV personality and former Black Eyed Peas singer Will.I.Am (William Adams) has been refused his Trade Mark application for ‘I Am’ in a unanimous ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Federal Circuit affirmed a previous decision by the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) that had already refused to register the mark.
The mark was filed in classes 3, 9 and 14 but was denied on each occasion due to pre-existing marks. In class 3 (cosmetics) the already registered mark ‘I Am’ for perfume prevented registration, as did marks for ‘I Am’ for sunglasses in class 9 and two prior marks for jewellery in class 14 (accessories). The TTAB also found that Mr Adams was not widely known as simply ‘I Am’ or ‘i.am’ and that the term was not distinctive enough to be associated with Mr Adams, who is consistently referred to as Will.I.Am according to available evidence.
The TTAB decision was upheld that allowing registration would cause confusion with the pre-existing marks and the Federal Circuit held that, “the board’s findings were supported by substantial evidence and its legal conclusions were not erroneous as a matter of law.”
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Richard Jones, Business Relationship Manager for ip21 Ltd.