In an article titled Trademarks Take on New Importance in the Internet Era, the New York Times highlights a dispute in which Frito-Lay is contesting registration of the mark PRETZEL CRISPS with the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). As noted in the article:
Frito-Lay contends that Pretzel Crisps cannot be registered as a trademark because it is a generic term. “Like ‘milk chocolate bar,’ the combination of ‘pretzel’ and ‘crisp’ gains no meaning as a phrase over and above the generic meaning of its constituent terms,” the company wrote in a 2010 motion.
The dispute will ultimately come down to whether the public views this term as being “generic” or as having trademark significance, i.e., as identifying the source of the goods. Notably, PRETZEL CRISPS have been on sale since 2004 and it appears there is evidence supporting each side’s position.
See full article here.