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In re Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co.

Court of Customs and Patent Appeals
Apr 4, 1932
56 F.2d 890 (C.C.P.A. 1932)


Patent Appeal No. 2920.

April 4, 1932.

Appeal from the Commissioner of Patents.

Application by the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company for registration of trade-mark. From a decision denying registration, the applicant appeals.


Albert J. Fihe, of Chicago, Ill. (A.V. Cushman and John J. Darby, both of Washington, D.C., of counsel), for appellant.

T.A. Hostetler, of Washington, D.C., for Commissioner of Patents.

Before GRAHAM, Presiding Judge, and BLAND, HATFIELD, GARRETT, and LENROOT, Associate Judges.

Appellant has applied to the United States Patent Office to register as a trade-mark the word "League," as applied to bowling pins. Registration was denied by both tribunals in the Patent Office upon the theory that the word "League" could not be exclusively appropriated and used as a trade-mark by any one manufacturer of bowling pins; in other words, as we understand it, that the word is descriptive as applied to these goods.

In connection with his decision, the Commissioner called attention to the adopted and published rules of the American Bowling Congress, and, particularly, to rule 10 thereof, regulating the sizes and weights of official pins. Rule 29 thereof also gives certain regulations for so-called "League Games."

The applicant filed in the Patent Office an affidavit to the effect that the word "League" upon bowling pins, to the trade, meant only origin or source.

We are of opinion no error was committed by the Commissioner herein. The word "League," as used by the appellant here, is, to our mind, clearly either descriptive or misdescriptive. In either event, it ought not to be registered as a trade-mark. Every maker of bowling pins ought to be able to call his pins "League" pins, if they comply with the rules generally obtaining in league games.

The following cases illustrate the views of the courts as to similar descriptive words: In re Excelsior Shoe Co., 40 App. D.C. 480, in which the mark involved was "Boy Scouts" as applied to shoes for boys and men; the word "Navy" as applied to certain goods, In re National Candy Co., 35 App. D.C. 351; the word "fashion" as applied to men's clothing, Rosenberg Bros. Co. v. Wetherby-Kayser Shoe Co., 37 F.2d 437, 17 C.C.P.A. 794; "Autographic" as applied to manifold registers, etc., In re Autographic Register Co., 39 F.2d 718, 17 C.C.P.A. 1044; "Ensemble" as applied to ladies' garments, Model Brassiere Co. v. Bromley-Shepard Co., 49 F.2d 482, 18 C.C.P.A. 1294.

The decision of the Commissioner of Patents is affirmed.


Summaries of

In re Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co.

Court of Customs and Patent Appeals
Apr 4, 1932
56 F.2d 890 (C.C.P.A. 1932)
Case details for

In re Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co.

Case Details


Court:Court of Customs and Patent Appeals

Date published: Apr 4, 1932


56 F.2d 890 (C.C.P.A. 1932)
19 C.C.P.A. 1055

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