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‘Guaranteed Rate’ Deemed Too Common for Trademark Without Survey

July 31, 2020, 8:09 PM

Guaranteed Rate Inc. failed to prove consumers recognize “Guaranteed Rate,” standing alone, as referring to one specific mortgage lender, a trademark tribunal said.

A massive investment in advertising, press coverage and registered trademarks on “Guaranteed Rate Affinity” don’t negate failure to show that consumers recognized the highly descriptive mark, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board said in a precedential decision Thursday. The board rejected word mark and logo applications, but said it would allow the design to register if the company added a disclaimer saying it didn’t own exclusive rights to “Guaranteed Rate” except as shown in the logo.

The ...