The Abuse of Trademarks and Varietal Names Within the Orchard Industry
Plant Varietal Names Are Generic….They Can Not Function as a Trademark….
Court affirms that plant varietal names can not be trademarked.
The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, in affirming the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (the Board) refusal to register the mark “Rebel” for grass seed, agreed that the mark is a generic designation for such seed. In re Pennington Seed, Inc., Case No. 06-1133 (Fed. Cir., Oct. 19, 2006) (Judge Lourie).
‘Rebel’ is a generic name and cannot be registered as a trademark.
“Because we hold as a matter of law that plant varietal names are generic and substantial evidence supports the Board’s finding that “Rebel” is a varietal name, the decision of the Board is affirmed. “