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    Tuesday, May 20, 2008

    Generic Trade Names and Trade Marks not protectable in Washington

    The Washington Court of Appeals, Division II, ruled today in Custom Auto Interiors v. Custom RV Interiors that generic trade names and trade marks are not protectable. To the extent that the 1926 Electric Supply case held generic names were protectable, subsequent cases and legislation have rendered that position invalid. Custom Auto Interiors involved an interlocutory appeal of a preliminary injunction enjoning the defnendat, Custom RV Interiors from using the name Custom RV Interiors for its business of providing custom RV interiors. Custom Auto Interiors contended it had used the name Custom RV Interiors for over 15 years in the same locale for the serice of providing custom RV interiors, and that, generic or not, the potential for, or existence of confusion, rendered the name protectable, and the defendant's use of the name enjoinable. The trial court accepted this proposition. The defendant petition for review. Review was accepted and the trial court's injunction was reversed. The firm of Rylander & Associates PC (which this blogger manages), represented the defendant on appeal. This is also an important note for the small or start up business--the smaller party does not have to surrender in the face of an adverse decision

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