Familia Management Group, LLC

This Opinion is Not a
Precedent of the TTAB

Mailed: September 27, 2019

UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
_____

Trademark Trial and Appeal Board
_____

In re Familia Management Group, LLC
_____

Serial No. 87524731
_____

Mindi M. Richter of Shumaker Loop & Kendrick, LLP,
for Familia Management Group, LLC.

Angela M. Micheli, Trademark Examining Attorney, Law Office 101,
Ronald R. Sussman, Managing Attorney.

_____

Before Ritchie, Shaw, and English,
Administrative Trademark Judges.

Opinion by Ritchie, Administrative Trademark Judge:

On July 12, 2017, Familia Management Group, LLC (“Applicant”) filed an

application to register the mark FAMILIA DENTAL (in standard characters) for

“dental hygienist services; dentist services; orthodontic services,” in International

Class 44, on the Principal Register, which, as amended, claims acquired

distinctiveness under Section 2(f) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(f), and

contains a translation statement: The English translation of FAMILIA DENTAL in

the mark is FAMILY DENTAL.
Serial No. 87524731

The Trademark Examining Attorney has finally refused registration under

Sections 1, 2, 3, and 45 of the Trademark Act; 15 U.S.C. §§ 1051, 1052, 1053, and

1127, on the ground that the proposed mark is generic as applied to the identified

services. The Examining Attorney has also finally refused registration on the basis

that if the mark is not generic, Applicant’s claim of acquired distinctiveness based on

at least five years’ use and additional evidence is insufficient due to the highly

descriptive nature of the mark.

When the refusal was made final, Applicant appealed and requested

reconsideration. After the Examining Attorney denied the request for

reconsideration, the appeal resumed. We affirm the refusal to register on the ground

that Applicant’s proposed mark is generic as applied to its identified services. For this

reason, we need not consider the refusal on the insufficiency of the Section 2(f)

evidence.

Genericness

A. Legal Standard for Genericness

As dictated by our precedent, “A generic mark, being the ‘ultimate in

descriptiveness,’ cannot acquire distinctiveness, and is not entitled to registration on

either the Principal or Supplemental Register under any circumstances.” In re La.

Fish Fry Prods., Ltd., 797 F.3d 1332, 116 USPQ2d 1262, 1264 (Fed. Cir. 2015)

(quoting H. Marvin Ginn Corp. v. Int’l Ass’n of Fire Chiefs, Inc., 782 F.2d 987, 228

USPQ 528, 530 (Fed. Cir. 1986)). A designation is generic if it refers to the class or

category of goods or services on or in connection with which it is used. In re Dial-A-

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Mattress Operating Corp., 240 F.3d 1341, 57 USPQ2d 1807 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (citing

Marvin Ginn, 228 USPQ 528). “[A] term [also] is generic if the relevant public

understands the term to refer to part of the claimed genus of goods or services, even

if the public does not understand the term to refer to the broad genus as a whole.” In

re Cordua Rests., Inc., 823 F.3d 594, 118 USPQ2d 1632, 1638 (Fed. Cir. 2016) (“[T]he

term ‘pizzeria’ would be generic for restaurant services, even though the public

understands the term to refer to a particular sub-group or type of restaurant rather

than to all restaurants”). See also In re 1800Mattress.com IP LLC, 586 F.3d 1359, 92

USPQ2d 1682, 1685 (Fed. Cir. 2009) (“The test is not only whether the relevant public

would itself use the term to describe the genus, but also whether the relevant public

would understand the term to be generic.”).

The test for determining whether a proposed mark is generic is its primary

significance to the relevant public. Magic Wand Inc. v. RDB Inc., 940 F.2d 638, 19

USPQ2d 1551, 1553-54 (Fed. Cir. 1991); Marvin Ginn, 228 USPQ at 530. Making this

determination “involves a two-step inquiry: First, what is the genus of goods or

services at issue? Second, is the term sought to be registered … understood by the

relevant public primarily to refer to that genus of goods or services?” Id.

Addressing the first part of the genericness inquiry, we find in this case that the

genus of goods is commensurate with Applicant’s identification of goods in the

application, i.e., “dental hygienist services; dentist services; orthodontic services.” See

Magic Wand, 19 USPQ2d at 1552 (“[A] proper genericness inquiry focuses on the

description of services set forth in the [application or] certificate of registration.”).

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Serial No. 87524731

Applicant characterizes the genus generally in its brief as “dental and orthodontic

services.”1

We next proceed to the second part of the Marvin Ginn inquiry: whether the term

“Familia Dental” is understood by the relevant public primarily to refer to “dental

hygienist services; dentist services; orthodontic services.” Based on the identified

services, the relevant public would be those individuals who use or purchase dental

or orthodontic services. In this regard, we note that “a term can be generic for a genus

of goods or services” if the relevant public “understands the term to refer to a key

aspect of that genus.” See Cordua 118 USPQ2d at 1637; see also Royal Crown Co. v.

Coca-Cola Co., 892 F.3d 1358, 127 USPQ2d 1041, 1047 (Fed Cir 2018). We consider

“[e]vidence of the public’s understanding of the term [which] may be obtained from

any competent source, such as purchaser testimony, consumer surveys, listings in

dictionaries, trade journals, newspapers, and other publications.” In re Merrill Lynch,

Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., 828 F.2d 1567, 4 USPQ2d 1141, 1143 (Fed. Cir. 1987).

In this regard, competitor use may be evidence of genericness. See BellSouth Corp. v.

DataNational Corp., 60 F.3d 1565, 35 USPQ2d 1554, 1558 (Fed. Cir. 1995) (“The

cases have recognized that competitor use is evidence of genericness.”) (citing

Remington Prods., Inc. v. N. Am. Philips Corp., 892 F.2d 1576, 13 USPQ2d 1444, 1446

(Fed. Cir. 1990)); Cont’l Airlines, Inc. v. United Air Lines, Inc., 53 USPQ2d 1385, 1395

(TTAB 1999) (use of term “e-ticket” by media and competitors indicates term is

generic for electronic tickets); Philip Morris Inc. v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco

1 10 TTABVUE 11.

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Serial No. 87524731

Corp., 230 USPQ 172, 176 (1986) (finding evidence that competitors have used a

particular word as the name of their goods is persuasive evidence of genericness).

B. Applicability of the Doctrine of Foreign Equivalents

Pursuant to a requirement from the Examining Attorney, Applicant submitted a

translation statement of its applied-for mark, stating: The English translation of

FAMILIA DENTAL in the mark is FAMILY DENTAL.

Under the doctrine of foreign equivalents, “foreign words from common languages

are translated into English to determine genericness, descriptiveness, as well as

similarity of connotation . . .” Cordua, 118 USPQ2d at 1637, citing Palm Bay Imps,

Inc. v. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Maison Fondee en 1772, 396 F.3d 1369, 1377, 73

USPQ2d 1689, 1696 (Fed. Cir. 2005). The doctrine of foreign equivalents applies when

the “ordinary American purchaser” would “stop and translate” a foreign mark into its

English equivalent. Palm Bay 73 USPQ2d at 1696. It is not an absolute rule, and does

not include dead or obscure languages. In re Spirits Int’l, N.V., 563 F.3d 1347, 1351,

90 USPQ2d 1489, 1491 (Fed. Cir. 2009).

The foreign language at issue here is Spanish. The Examining Attorney submitted

evidence from the United States Census Bureau stating that the Hispanic population

of the United States was, as of July 1, 2015, 56.6 million, constituting 17.6% of the

nation’s total population, and comprising “the nation’s largest ethnic or racial

minority.”2 The Examining Attorney also submitted evidence that a large segment of

the population in various places where Applicant lists its service locations speak

2 Census.gov. Attached to October 18, 2017 Office Action, at 13.

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Serial No. 87524731

Spanish “at home.” The numbers range from five to ten percent in some locations, to

over forty percent in others.3

Overall, there is no question that Spanish is a relatively common, modern

language. The consumers of Applicant’s services are likely to stop and translate its

“FAMILIA DENTAL” mark, used in connection with dental and orthodontic services.

It is therefore appropriate to apply the doctrine of foreign equivalents. In this regard,

we consider in our analysis relevant evidence regarding the translated term “family

dental.”

C. Evaluating the Evidence

To support the refusal on genericness, the Examining Attorney submitted a

definition of the term “family dentistry;” explanatory use of the term “family dental”

and “family dentistry” on the Internet; use of the term “family dental” or “family

dentistry” by competitors; and third-party registrations that disclaim use of the term

“family dental.”

Applicant, in response, submitted evidence regarding its prior registration; a

declaration from its Director of Corporate Development; and search results from

Google and Westlaw for the term “family dental.” Applicant argues:

All of this evidence put together, namely the Internet search results, the
lack of dictionary references, Applicant’s prior registration and the other
cited registrations, makes a strong case that FAMILIA DENTAL is not
generic.4

3 Statisticalatlas.com. Attached to May 31, 2018 Final Office Action, at 77-133.
4 November 28, 2018 Request for Reconsideration.

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Serial No. 87524731

We discuss and analyze the evidence of the public’s understanding of “Familia

Dental” or its translation, “family dental.”

a) Dictionary definition of “family dentistry”

The Examining Attorney submitted the following definition of “family dentistry”:

Family dentistry: the branch of dentistry that is concerned with the
diagnosis and treatment of dental problems in people of either sex and
at any age. Family dental professionals were formerly known as general
practitioners, and therefore family dentistry does not constitute one of
the specialty areas of dentistry.5

b) Explanatory use

The Examining Attorney submitted the following explanatory use of the term

“family dental” or “family dentistry” on the Internet:

Family Dental Group: What it is and the best way to find one; Busy
parents know scheduling appointments for everyone in your family can
take time. Finding a family dental group can mean fewer individual
office visits, if you know where to look. . . . Although family dental
groups have been around for years, they’re unique in that they provide
a variety of treatments in-house, whereas many practices are built
around a specialty.6

Finding the Best Family Dental in Sioux Falls: Imagine a scenario.
You have to take your kids and other family members to different
dentists based on their age group and dental health needs, regular
checkups and treatment. How tiring and cumbersome would that be?
Wouldn’t it be much easier if a dental practice provided all dental care
facilities for your entire family under one roof? Certainly. That is why,
at Riverview Dental we offer all major family dentistry services to the

5 https://medical-dictionary. Thefreedictionary.com/family+dentistry. Attached to January
24, 2019 Denial of Request for Reconsideration, at 2.
6 Colgate.com. Attached to January 24, 2019 Denial of Request for Reconsideration, at 12.

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Serial No. 87524731

residents of Sioux Falls SD under one roof, so they don’t have to visit
multiple dentists for their dental care.7

c) Competitor use

The Examining Attorney included evidence of use of the term “family dental” or

“family dentistry” by competitors. Applicant argues that the evidence is not probative

because it is all from “dental practice websites as opposed to uses by ordinary

consumers.”8 As noted above, however, evidence of use by competitors may be

relevant to our analysis of genericness. See BellSouth Corp. 35 USPQ2d at 1558;

Remington Prods., 13 USPQ2d at 1446; Cont’l Airlines, Inc., 53 USPQ2d at 1395);

Philip Morris Inc., 230 USPQ at 176. We agree with Applicant that mere trade name

use of the term “FAMILY DENTAL” by competitors is not probative evidence of

genericness. Nevertheless, the Examining Attorney included multiple examples of

dental or dentistry practices that include reference to the term “family dental” or

“family dentistry” as being a key aspect of their dental services. Examples include the

following:9

Princeton Smiles: Our family dental practice emphasizes prevention –
meaning that we partner with our patients in the defense against
common dental problems, including tooth decay, bad breath, and gum
disease.
Princetonsmiles.com

7 RiverviewDentalSF.com. Attached to January 24, 2019 Denial of Request for
Reconsideration, at 39.
8 13 TTABVUE 5.
9Attached to May 31, 2018 Final Office Action at 12-57, and January 24, 2019 Denial of
Request for Reconsideration at 15-36.

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Fields Family Dental: Fields Family Dental is a family dental practice
in Odenton MD focused on providing the best dental care to adults and
children.
Drkimberlyfields.com

Dental Care, and design: Welcome to Dental Care, your family dental
practice with conveniently located offices –
Dentalcareofsouthjersey.com

Welcome to Steadman Family Dentistry: As a family dental practice,
our dentist and team cater to the entire family and offer a
comprehensive range of adult and children’s dentistry procedures to
serve patients of all ages –
Grinfixer.com

Farmington Family Dentistry: As family dentists in Farmington, CT,
our goal is to provide our patients with an exceptional dental experience
each time they visit our office. . . . As a family dental practice we are
dedicated to providing our patients with exceptional dental care. –
Farmingtonctsmiles.com

West County Dental: Family Dental Practice: A standard of excellence
in personalized family dental care enables us to provide the quality
dental services our St. Louis patients deserve.
Westcountydental.com

Welcome to Powers Family Dental Care: A FULL SERVICE FAMILY
DENTAL PRACTICE.
Powersfamilydentalcare.com

Sharpe Family Dental: Dr. Sharpe and the experienced staff at Sharpe
Family Dental provide family dental care you can trust in a relaxed
atmosphere with personalized treatment for the whole family.
Sharpefamilydental.com

Chesterland Family Dental Care: Chesterland Family Dental Care is a
reputable general practice and family dental clinic.
Chesterlandfamilydentalcare.com

Preston Family Dentistry: General & Family Dentistry: General and
family dentistry encompasses a number of dental treatments that are
aimed at helping you achieve and maintain optimal oral health for a
lifetime.
Prestonfamilydentistry.com

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Davis Family Dental Care, and design: for complete family dentistry
services: Bedford’s Home for Family Dentistry
Davisfamilydentists.com

Village Family Dental: Visit Us for Thorough and Reliable Family
Dentistry in the Fayetteville, NC Area.
Vfdental.com

Piscataway Family Dental: Our practice ensures a positive dentist office
experience for you and your loved ones by focusing on family dentistry
that incorporates a wide-range of dental services and specialties.
Piscatawayfamilydental.com

Framingham Family Dental Care: Framingham Family Dental Care is
a full service dental practice providing comprehensive cosmetic,
restorative and family dentistry for patients of all ages.
Framinghamfamilydentalcare.com

d) Third-party registrations and Applicant’s prior registration

We note that both Applicant and the Examining Attorney submitted copies of

third party registrations containing the term “FAMILY DENTAL,” some with

disclaimers of the term “FAMILY DENTAL” and some with disclaimers of only the

term “FAMILY.” It is, however, “axiomatic that we are not bound by the Office’s

determination in other cases, and these third-party registrations are not particularly

probative in our analysis.” See Frito-Lay N. Am., Inc. v. Princeton Vanguard, LLC,

124 USPQ2d 1184, n.15 (TTAB 2017), citing Cordua, 118 USPQ2d at 1635 (“The PTO

is required to examine all trademark applications for compliance with each and every

eligibility requirement . . . .”); In re Shinnecock Smoke Shop, 571 F.3d 1171, 1174, 91

USPQ2d 1218, 1221 (Fed. Cir. 2009) (“Even if all of the third-party registrations

should have been refused registration . . . , such errors do not bind the USPTO to

improperly register Applicant’s marks.”) (citation omitted); In re Nett Designs, Inc.,

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236 F.3d 1339, 57 USPQ2d 1564, 1566 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (“Even if some prior

registrations had some characteristics similar to Nett Designs’ application, the PTO’s

allowance of such prior registrations does not bind the Board or this court.”).

Applicant further makes reference to its prior registration for FAMILIA DENTAL

(and design) on the Principal Register. Applicant was granted Registration No.

3779160 for the composite mark shown below on April 20, 2010, with a disclaimer of

the term “FAMILIA DENTAL”:

Applicant argues that based on its prior Principal Registration it will suffer “serious

detriment and prejudice” if its present application for FAMILIA DENTAL is refused

on the ground of genericness.10

We note, in the first instance, that the mark for which Applicant currently seeks

registration is FAMILIA DENTAL, in standard characters, and not the composite

form as previously registered. Thus there is a presumption

of validity only for the mark as registered. 15 U.S.C. § 1057(b). See also Section 26 of

the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1094. Finally, it is well established that an existing

registration “does not preclude a finding of genericness” since, even if Applicant is

entitled to the Section 7(b) presumption of validity for registration of a mark on the

Principal Register, the presumption “does not carry over from registration of the older

10 13 TTABVUE 6.

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Serial No. 87524731

mark to a new application for registration of another mark that happens to be similar

(or even identical).” Cordua, 118 USPQ at 1635 (citations omitted).

e) Applicant’s submitted declaration and third-party web evidence

Applicant submitted a declaration from its Director of Corporate Development,

Brendan Gibney. The declaration is titled “Declaration under Section 2(f).” In

addition to making reference to Applicant’s revenues and marketing expenditures,

Mr. Gibney’s declaration states that “Applicant is frequently in the news,” citing,

inter alia, Exhibits 2 and 4. We consider Mr. Gibney’s declaration, and the various

exhibits in our genericness inquiry, to the extent they demonstrate whether the term

“Familia Dental,” or its translation “family dental,” is understood by the relevant

public primarily to refer to “dental hygienist services; dentist services; orthodontic

services.” The declaration itself discusses Applicant’s commercial success with its

services. However, the declaration does not have sufficient information to indicate

the understanding of the relevant public with regard to the term “Familia Dental” or

“family dental.”11

Applicant also submitted search results from Google and Westlaw.12 The search

results are not very probative since they are truncated and do not provide us with

sufficient information upon which to make a clear finding. See In re Bayer

Aktiengesellschaft, 488 F.2d 960, 82 USPQ2d 1828, 1833 (Fed. Cir. 2007) (“Search

engine results – which provide little context to discern how a term is actually used on

11 Attached to April 24, 2018 Response to Office Action, at 23.
12 Attached to April 24, 2018 Response to Office Action, at 2-21.

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Serial No. 87524731

the web page that can be accessed through the search link – may be insufficient to

determine the nature of the use of a term or the relevance of the search results to

registration considerations.”); See also Alcatraz Media Inc. v. Chesapeake Marine

Tours Inc., 107 USPQ2d 1750, 1759 (TTAB 2013) (finding results from search engine

introduced by testimony admissible but of limited probative value because they

lacked sufficient context), aff’d, 565 F. App’x 900 (Fed. Cir. 2014) (mem.).

Applicant did include printouts of several of the results from both the Google and

the Westlaw searches with the Request for Reconsideration.13 The evidence includes

Applicant’s website as well as printouts of websites that include consumer and

employee reviews. There are also several news articles that reference Applicant,

including an article from PR NewsChannel (Blog) which discusses a dentist who

works with Familia Dental in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; an article from The Post-

Tribune (Merrillville, In) which mentions organizations participating in a charity

event, including among others on a list, Familia Dental; an article from Herald &

Review (Decatur, Il) which discusses services that will be available to the community,

including among others on a list, Familia Dental; an article from University Wire

(Madison, Wi) which mentions that Familia Dental will be opening a second clinic in

Madison; and two articles in State News Service (Indianapolis, In) which mention the

sponsors for a community event, including among others on a list, Familia Dental.

13 Attached to November 28, 2018 Request for Reconsideration, at 2-56.

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Analysis of the relevant purchasing public’s understanding of the meaning of
FAMILIA DENTAL or its translated “family dental”

A generic term names a good or service. See Marvin Ginn, 228 USPQ at 530 (“The

critical issue in genericness cases is whether members of the relevant public

primarily use or understand the term sought to be protected to refer to the genus of

goods or services in question.”); see also 2 J. Thomas McCarthy, MCCARTHY ON

TRADEMARKS AND UNFAIR COMPETITION § 12:20 (5th ed.).

To be the first user of a particular name for a product is not sufficient to take it

out of the realm of genericness. Kellogg Co. v. Nat’l Biscuit Co., 305 U.S. 111, 39

USPQ 296 (1938). Rather, the question is whether “the primary significance of the

term in the minds of the consuming public is not the product but the producer.” Id.

at 299. As the Federal Circuit has further explained:

Generic terms, by definition incapable of indicating source, are the
antithesis of trademarks, and can never attain trademark status. The
reason is plain: To allow trademark protection for generic terms, i.e.,
names which describe the genus of goods being sold, even when these
have become identified with a first user, would grant the owner of the
mark a monopoly, since a competitor could not describe his goods as
what they are.

In re Pennington Seed Inc., 466 F.3d 1053, 80 USPQ2d 1758, 1762 (Fed. Cir. 2006)

(affirming Board ruling that applicant cannot trademark varietal name for plant seed

even if it created genus) (quoting In re Merrill Lynch, 4 USPQ2d at 1142). In this

regard, the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, citing the Kellogg Supreme Court

decision, noted that generic marks, even those well known to the public, cannot be

registered. In re The Deister Concentrator Co., Inc, 289 F2d 496, 129 USPQ 314, 322

(CCPA 1961) (“The true basis of such holdings is not that they cannot or do not

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indicate source to the purchasing public but that there is an overriding public policy

of preventing their monopolization.”)

The CCPA has further explained that one who chooses the name of an article

cannot be granted exclusive trademark rights to the term:

While it is always distressing to contemplate a situation in which money
has been invested in a promotion in the mistaken belief that trademark
rights of value are being created, merchants act at their peril in
attempting, by advertising, to convert common descriptive names, which
belong to the public, to their own exclusive use. Even though they
succeed in the creation of de facto secondary meaning, due to lack of
competition or other happenstance, the law respecting registration will
not give it any effect.

Weiss Noodle Co. v. Golden Cracknel and Specialty Co., 290 F.2d 845, 129 USPQ 411,

414 (CCPA 1961).

We thus consider whether the term “Familia Dental,” or its translated “family

dental,” is generic for “dental hygienist services; dentist services; orthodontic

services.” The Examining Attorney has the burden of proving genericness by clear

evidence. See La. Fish Fry Prods., 116 USPQ2d at 1265 (citations omitted).

We find availing the dictionary definition submitted by the Examining Attorney,

which defines “family dentistry” as a “branch of dentistry.” Although Applicant

argues that the definition is for “family dentistry” rather than for “family dental,” it

is clear that the term “family dental” is used interchangeably with “family dentistry”

to refer to a subgenus and key aspect of dental and orthodontic services. Third-party

web evidence explains the meaning of a “family dental” practice as one where

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“everyone in your family” is provided services with “dental care facilities for your

entire family.”

Numerous websites elaborate on this explanation, with competitors making

reference to their “family dental” practices as being able to provide “the best dental

care to adults and children;” “offer a comprehensive range of adult and children’s

dentistry procedures;” and as providing “personalized treatment for the whole

family.” Others refer similarly to “family dentistry” as providing “a wide-range of

dental services and specialties” and as being applicable to “patients of all ages.”

Accordingly, the Examining Attorney has shown by clear evidence that “family

dental” is a subgenus and key aspect of Applicant’s identified dental and orthodontic

services, and it is a generic term therefor. See Cordua, 118 USPQ at 1638 (explaining

that “a term is generic if the relevant public understands the term to refer to part of

the claimed genus of goods or services, even if the public does not understand the

term to refer to the broad genus as a whole.”).

This conclusion is not refuted by the evidence submitted by Applicant. As noted,

Applicant’s prior registration for a composite mark, ,

which included a disclaimer of “FAMILIA DENTAL” does not confer a presumption

of validity for the standard character mark in the present application. Furthermore,

we must base our analysis of genericness on the record of this case. See Section 7(b)

of the Trademark Act; 15 U.S.C. § 1057(b); Cordua, 118 USPQ at 1635 (citations

omitted). While Applicant’s declaration and web evidence may show use of Familia

Dental as a trade name, they do not provide information about whether the relevant

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public understands “Familia Dental,” or its translated “family dental” to refer to

“dental hygienist services; dentist services; orthodontic services.” See In re Pacer

Tech., 338 F.3d 1348, 67 USPQ2d 1629, 1633 (Fed. Cir. 2003) (finding submitted

affidavits “all signed by individuals in the artificial nail business, at most purport to

represent the views of a small segment of the relevant market.”); see also Mag

Instrument, Inc. v. Brinkman Corp., 96 USPQ2d 1701, 1723 (TTAB 2010) (finding

submitted declarations do not represent views of “end consumer.”).

Evaluating the record as a whole, we find that the Examining Attorney has proven

by clear evidence that the term “Familia Dental” or its translated “family dental”

refers to a key aspect of “dental hygienist services; dentist services; orthodontic

services,” namely, the subgenus of dental and orthodontic services that serves

families. While we have discussed references to the term “family dentistry,” and we

find that it is used interchangeably with the term “family dental,” our analysis and

conclusion are the same if we exclude consideration of the former.

Although Applicant may have created “de facto secondary meaning” by potentially

being a commercially successful user of the term, such use has not prevented the

relevant public from viewing “FAMILIA DENTAL” or “family dental” as “primarily

us[ing] or understand[ing] the term sought to be protected to refer to the genus of

goods or services in question.” Marvin Ginn 228 USPQ at 530. Overall, the record

supports a finding that the primary significance of the term in the minds of the

consuming public is to identify a service rather than to identify a single source

thereof, and that indeed “FAMILIA DENTAL” and “family dental” services derive

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from more than one source. See Kellogg, 39 USPQ at 299; In re Merrill Lynch, 4

USPQ2d at 1142; Weiss Noodle, 129 USPQ at 414.

The genericness refusal is affirmed. Because the term “FAMILIA DENTAL” is

generic when used in connection with the identified services, it is not registrable on

the Principal Register under the provisions of Section 2(f). See In re Northland

Aluminum Prods., 777 F.2d 1556, 227 USPQ 961, 963 (Fed. Cir. 1985); In re Hikari

Sales USA, Inc., 2019 USPQ2d 111514, 13 (TTAB 2019).

Decision: The refusal on the ground of genericness is affirmed.

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