Subway Can't Trademark 'Footlong' For Sandwiches

Law360, New York (September 6, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT) -- The owner of Subway restaurants — the biggest fast food chain in the world — lost a bid Thursday to trademark its heavily marketed “Footlong” brand, which a trademark appeal board ruled was just a generic term for sandwiches.

Siding with the owners of regional convenience store chain Sheetz, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board said the term was “widely used in the food and restaurant industry” and that despite Subway's national presence and massive marketing efforts around the term, it didn't deserve a monopoly on it.

“The evidence shows it is common to use the term “Footlong” to refer to...

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