Consequently a registered geographic certification mark should not be

Consequently a registered geographic certification

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designate and certify the particular geographic origin of the relevant goods or services. Consequently, a registered geographic certification mark should not be considered “weak” or subject to a narrower scope of protection. 75 Furthermore, the likelihood-of-confusion analysis is generally the same for certification marks as it is for trademarks or service marks, in that all of the relevant du Pont factors should be considered. 76 However, because a certification mark may not be used by the owner of the mark, but is instead used by authorized users, the analysis is based on the authorized users’ goods or services and their relevant trade channels and classes of consumers. 77 The following guidelines, which focus on the similarity-of-the-marks du Pont factor, are provided to aid the examining attorney in considering the issues when a likelihood-of- confusion search and analysis involves a geographic certification mark. The facts and evidence will vary in each application, affecting the relevance and weight of the various du Pont factors. But, for the purposes of these guidelines, assume that any other relevant du Pont factors, including the relatedness of the parties’ goods and services, either support a finding that source confusion is likely or otherwise do not outweigh the factors that support such a finding. If the applied-for mark is a geographic certification mark: 7
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The examining attorney should consider citing not only any prior mark with distinctive elements (e.g., suggestive, arbitrary, or fanciful wording, or distinctive design elements) that are confusingly similar to those in the applied-for geographic certification mark, but also any prior mark of any type that contains a geographic designation (whether disclaimed or not) that is confusingly similar to the designation in the applied-for mark. Thus, if the applied-for geographic certification mark certifies that figs originate in Wyoming, and consists of a stylized cowboy hat above the wording WYOMING CERTIFIED (with CERTIFIED disclaimed), the potential cites may include (i) a geographic certification mark that is applied to Wyoming figs and is composed of the wording WYOMING’S OWN and (ii) a trademark that is applied to figs and consists of a cowboy hat design that is nearly identical to the design in the applied-for mark. Or, if the applied-for geographic certification mark certifies that pecans originate in Shenandoah County, Virginia, and consists of the wording SHENANDOAH COUNTY, potential cites may include (i) a trademark for roasted mixed nuts, consisting of the wording T.MARKEY’S SHENANDOAH MIXED NUTS (with SHENANDOAH MIXED NUTS disclaimed) and (ii) a trademark for pecans, composed of a stylized depiction of a pecan and the wording PETE’S PRICELESS PECANS OF SHENANDOAH (with PECANS OF SHENANDOAH disclaimed). If there are numerous registrations and prior applications containing the same geographic designation (whether disclaimed or not) as the applied-for geographic certification mark, then, in the absence of the consent of the relevant registrants and
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