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‘Real Michigan’ Cider Trademark Blocked by Apples Certification

May 27, 2020, 10:28 PM

A wine and hard cider company can’t register “Real Michigan” as a trademark because of existing marks that certify Michigan-grown apples, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board said.

The commercial impression of St. Julian Wine Co. Inc.'s trademark is too closely aligned with those of Michigan Apple Committee’s certification marks, the board said in a precedential decision. Certification marks differ from regular marks in that they appear on products that are certified by, not produced or sold by, the mark owner. Trademarks can’t confuse consumers who might think they represent an existing certification mark.

The opinion shows that while ...