Fashion exhibits often have strong trademark connections due to the popularity of iconic fashion labels and brands; however, archeology exhibits are less likely to be ‘name branded’ with trademarks. Generally speaking, anything that can be exhumed from an ancient resting place predates trademark registration systems.
The times are changing… and ‘The Mummies of the World’ exhibit, currently on display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, has submitted trademark registration applications for the term: MUMMYOLOGIST in several classes. The MUMMYOLOGIST trademark applications are ITU (Intent to Use) applications and it will be interesting to see how the MUMMYOLOGIST brand is developed to establish the requisite USE for trademark registration.
Every trademark registration application must designate at least one class of goods or services where the mark is ‘used in commerce’ (as a brand) in order to qualify for trademark registration. The MUMMYOLOGIST trademark applications designate 4 classes: 2 classes of services (‘educational exhibitions’ and ‘providing information on archeology’) and 2 classes of goods (‘clothing’ and ‘printed material’). The two service classes for which ITU applications are pending could be a good fit for developing a MUMMYOLOGIST brand; because, it seems likely that a MUMMYOLOGIST brand can be developed and used to promote and sell the services of ‘educational exhibitions’ and ‘providing information on archeology.’ However, the two classes of goods for which ITU applications are pending could be a bit trickier; since, the mark will need to be used as a brand and not merely as ornamentation on clothes and other goods to qualify for trademark registration.
USPTO rejections for ‘merely ornamental use’ are difficult to overcome and often leave popular graphics without the protection of a trademark registration. (Just because a graphic or logo is printed on a t-shirt that is bought by a lot of people, doesn’t means that it is operating as the trademark or BRAND of the shirt. The brand is generally the mark that’s on the inside label in the back of a shirt.) It will be interesting to see how USE will be claimed for the MUMMYOLOGIST trademark applications.
That’s a wrap on the MUMMYOLOGIST trademark applications. Let’s see if they dig up the requisite use requirement to register this neat mummy mark.
BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.