20
Jan/11

PING PONG Is A Registered Trademark For Table Tennis


Go look at registration 520270 if you don’t believe me.  I represented a UK company named Jaques that claims that it coined the term and sold it to Parker Brothers around 1900, but that’s another story.

Now, to anticipate a question I get asked when I blog about this sort of suit: “Because the plaintiff is more motivated. It is usually easier for the defendant to use a different generic term, than to defend the suit, which would likely involve spending over a $100k for a survey that established that the term was generic.”

Complaint Ping Pong

One Response to “PING PONG Is A Registered Trademark For Table Tennis”

  1. Anonymous says:

    If somebody surveyed me, I’d respond that I’m vaguely aware of “Ping-Pong” being a trademark, due to the occasional Internet posting like this one (I think there have been a couple of UDRP domain cases too), but would not be able to name the actual company that owns it or the specific products currently being marketed under the name, or even know for sure whether there is currently anything being marketed using the name. Any time I have ever used “ping-pong” myself it has been exclusively referring to the generic game also known as table tennis. Thus, I would place the name in the category of once-trademarked things which have fallen into genericide.

    However, the defendant’s behavior of first trying to negotiate a deal to use the name as a trademark under license, and then using it generically when the negotiations failed, seems to give them somewhat unclean hands, with an apparent admission on their own part that they regarded the name as having trademark rights that needed to be licensed.