Royal Crown opposed various applications by Coke to register terms that included the word ZERO, on grounds of genericness (or, in the alternative, that the terms were highly descriptive and Coke had not shown a sufficient degree of secondary menaing in the term).

The court instructed the Board to consider, on remand, whether ZERO is generic because it “refers to a key aspect of at least a sub-group or type of the claimed beverage goods.”

As to secondary meaning, the more descriptive a term is, the higher the level of secondary meaning that must be shown. A highly descriptive term such as, perhaps, ZERO, is held to an ‘exacting’ standard.

TTABlog discussion here.

[embeddoc url=””]