Geeking over packaging

Posted by | December 09, 2010 | General | 2 Comments

Janelle Orsi, a super cool attorney friend of mine who’s a pioneer in Sharing Law, brought a bag of delicious chocolate tortilla chips (who knew there was such a thing?) to a gathering I attended in San Francisco on Tuesday . . .

I told Janelle I wanted to keep the bag to remind myself to blog about it.  She asked about what about it would I blog.  So I told her . . .

(My discoveries and opinions are in italics below the questions)

(1) Is  really a registered trademark, as indicated by the registration symbol (®) at the bottom right of the logo?


(2) If FOOD SHOULD TASTE GOOD is a registered trademark, is the registration for the logo as seen on the packaging, or for the standard character word mark (or both)?

Standard Character word mark only

(3) Is FOOD disclaimed?

Nope; there’s no disclaimer of any part of this mark

(4) Is it on the Principal or Supplemental Register?


I am also curious about the portion of the packaging that reads:

TORILLA CHIPS (it’s a dessert too!)TM MADE WITH

(1) I presume that (it’s a dessert too!) is what is being claimed as a trademark.  The questions that come to mind are:

(2) Is this mark registered or pending with the USPTO?


(3) Would the PTO accept this packaging specimen as evidence of use, or would it refuse registration based on a finding that that the mark does not appear to be functioning as a mark/brand?

It probably would accept the chip bag as suitable evidence of use of the “(it’s a dessert too)”mark.  The TM owner of these marks is a company named FoodShouldTasteGood, Inc.  While the TM owner has not yet registered/applied to register “(it’s a dessert too),” it has registered a very similar registered mark for “(it’s a cracker, too),” seen here:

(4) Does adding “TM” to a parenthetical notation in an otherwise descriptive sentence on packaging do anything to help consumers identify that mark as a brand?

Apparently so.  I reviewed the (it’s a cracker, too) registration file wrapper (that’s what we TM attys call all the documents in a TM application/registration file) and learned that the PTO did not challenge this specimen for descriptiveness or failure to function as a mark.

Thanks, Janelle, for turning me on to a delicious new snack food, as well as for the blogging inspiration.

About Lara

Lara Pearson is a trademark attorney with Exemplar, where she also serves as the firm's Sustainability Steward. Lara's legal practice focuses on trademark and copyright law, including: intellectual property audits; trademark search & clearance; trademark and copyright registration & maintenance; intellectual property transfers; transactional work; and dispute resolution, including litigation when necessary. Lara primarily represents other social enterprises -- those leveraging their businesses and brands as catalysts for positive social and environmental change. Such businesses engage in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) to have a positive "triple bottom line" of people, planet and profit. As Exemplar's Sustainability Steward, Lara works with others in her law firm to measure and reduce the firm's carbon emissions and encourage engagement in social responsibility initiatives, including pro bono legal work and volunteering. Lara is a proud member of the Social Venture Network. Brand Geek is a member of 1% for the Planet and a Certified B Corporation, whose Incline Village office is certified under the regional Keep the Sierra Green program. Exemplar Companies is the most innovative professional services firm in the New Economy. Our unique, diversified expertise spans the disciplines of corporate law, business advisory, and capital/investment banking to better meet the needs of our high-potential customers. We have assembled a comprehensive suite of service to meet the complex issues facing companies in today’s challenging business environment. Our unique, holistic approach ensures the growth and success – and greatly increases the competitive advantage - of our customers. The Exemplar team is comprised of knowledgeable, highly skilled experts in a wide range of industries and disciplines. They work closely with our customers to provide trusted advice, incomparable support, expert guidance and the ultimate competitive advantage as they accelerate their businesses and position themselves to transform industries.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.