'Family Doctrine' Doesn't Apply in Ex Parte Review: TTAB

Law360, New York (February 24, 2014, 3:24 PM EST) -- In a precedential decision released Friday that said Hitachi High-Technologies Corp. couldn't register the mark “Opticross,” the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board made it clear that the so-called “family doctrine” couldn't be used in ex parte proceedings.

The doctrine — which grants brand owners control over a common element used in several marks, like “Mc-” for McDonalds Corp. — can only be invoked in inter partes proceedings, the board said, because it requires an assessment of actual consumer recognition that's “beyond the scope” of the ex...
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