Let’s Take Ten and Think about This

Sorry about the headline. We could not help ourselves. In a rare move, a Federal Circuit Court has over-ruled the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. St. Helena Hospital had applied for the trademark “TAKETEN” and the Trademark Office denied the registration, claiming it was too similar to a current trademark, “Take 10!”

The law permits multiple owners of identical trademarks if the products or services covered by the two identical trademarks would not easily be confused in the minds of consumers. Cadillac the car and Cadillac the dog food is one example of two identical trademarks that are for totally different products. On that basis, the two companies can own and use identical trademarks since consumers would not confuse the two products. 

The three-judge panel ruled that while the two trademarks were similar – not even identical – it was not likely that St. Helena's ten-day residential health improvement program known as "TAKETEN" would be confused with the already registered "Take 10!” which is a video exercise program.