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D L X
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 3:44 pm

zeke wrote:
That is not true, the classes for example registration 5854303 are very broad.

The first one for example, the flagship apple store sells office machines and equipment, another example would be the flagship Whole Foods store which “food and drink catering; café services; restaurant services”. Then you have the flagship ballroom (https://www.seaportboston.com/meeting-e ... p-ballroom) which provides various hotel, conference and food and beverage options. I could find a lot more examples.

Zeke, you're well off into red herring land.

What use in commerce is Apple or Whole Foods using "Flagship," and for what goods and services is that word being used?

Not that it's actually relevant, but this thought exercise might help you understand how trademark law works.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 3:46 pm

D L X wrote:

In trademark law, you don't ask the accused infringer "what did you mean?" You look at the trademark registration, and see if any of the claimed descriptions fit what the accused infringer is doing. In this case, the accused infringer is using FLAGSHIP with at least:
  • providing air transportation reservation services
  • airport services featuring transit lounge facilities for passengers
  • airline passenger ticketing, check-in and boarding services
  • air transport of passengers, cargo, and freight
  • providing travel agency services, namely, providing travel reservation services for others, air transportation reservation services for others, vehicle reservation services for others, cruise reservation services for others and vacation reservation services in the nature of coordinating travel arrangements for individuals and groups.
These are all things AA's trademark covers.


This was helpful! I am an avid Delta fan since the 80s and will try to defend Delta forever. From the looks of it, American has a strong case. Let me say that Flagship to me is American (due to years and years of association) and very powerful branding at that, especially with the type-face utilized on their website where applicable. With that said, is there a requirement or precedent that one must continue to show that a trademark holder exemplify the trademark that they have applied for and use? Can't Delta's argument be that our promoter scores are better, we are a better op, and in order to describe our services as adequately as possible so as not to confuse our own customers "flagship" is THE word to use.(?) I wouldn't be surprised if Delta challenges the Flagship trademark in todays global market place. The argument here being that since more and more international carriers compete against each other than ever before, American's claim only against Delta is whimsical and capricious, since OneWorld carriers who compete against Delta are given a pass to use the word to describe a service that may very well be inferior (against Delta's.) Then couldn't Delta claim that THAT is misleading customers?


So unless American sues ever airline using the word, it is without merit. Throw it out!
Last edited by TYWoolman on Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 3:53 pm

A few posters here are posting as though they are the judge writing after a decision has been made, or worse as the AA or Delta lawyers final arguments to the court. Hence assuming as proven from merely stating their argument. This is the notable logic fault of begging the question. An easy way to avoid it is simply stating that this is what you think the judge will say. But that he hasn't said it yet.

My suspicion is that AA will be awarded a very limited relief amongst all they have claimed.
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TYWoolman
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:13 pm

Honestly, this case can be a landmark case. Can a company in such a heavy service-oriented industry be allowed to trademark a word that means "the best" ?

Every carrier should be able to describe services with the word RELATIVE to their offerings.
Last edited by TYWoolman on Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
VS11
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:23 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
Honestly, this case can be a landmark case. Can a company in such a heavy service-oriented industry be allowed to trademark a word that means "the best."


Flagship does not mean "the best". And said company (AA) can argue that any connotation of the word "flagship" to indicate a premium quality service in passenger air travel is due entirely to their trademark - very much like the corporate name Xerox ended up meaning to photocopy.
 
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scbriml
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:34 pm

VS11 wrote:
Flagship does not mean "the best".


Really?

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictio ... h/flagship
flagship
noun [ C ]
UK /ˈflæɡ.ʃɪp/ US /ˈflæɡ.ʃɪp/
flagship noun [C] (BEST PRODUCT)

the best or most important product, idea, building, etc. that an organization owns or produces:
This machine is the flagship in our new range of computers.
The company's flagship store is in New York.
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TYWoolman
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:40 pm

VS11 wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
Honestly, this case can be a landmark case. Can a company in such a heavy service-oriented industry be allowed to trademark a word that means "the best."


Flagship does not mean "the best". And said company (AA) can argue that any connotation of the word "flagship" to indicate a premium quality service in passenger air travel is due entirely to their trademark - very much like the corporate name Xerox ended up meaning to photocopy.



Well it doesn't mean that per se but does have connotations and meaning to infer "best in-class."
And respectfully any company can argue anything they want but useless if not proven, as "premium service" is very subjective. It comes down to whether Flagship SHOULD be trademarkable in every and all instances in U.S. air-transport in an ever increasing global market. Flagship does associate with American in my mind but not necessarily because of an "experience" memory.
 
D L X
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:40 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
Honestly, this case can be a landmark case. Can a company in such a heavy service-oriented industry be allowed to trademark a word that means "the best."

I think this case is pretty standard. Practically half the trademarks out there are words that mean "the best."

Pinnacle (Airlines)
Ichiban (Beer)
A-1 (Steak Sauce)
First (National Bank, Church of Christ, you name it)
Prime (Amazon)
Capital (One bank)
Champion (clothing)
Optima (tax relief)
Peerless (faucets)
Acme (everything)

TYWoolman wrote:
With that said, is there a requirement or precedent that one must continue to show that a trademark holder exemplify the trademark that they have applied for and use?

No.

TYWoolman wrote:
Can't Delta's argument be that our promoter scores are better, we are a better op, and in order to describe our services as adequately as possible so as not to confuse our own customers "flagship" is THE word to use.(?)


No. Trademark law is agnostic to the quality of service. Trademark cares first and foremost who developed the mark first (as in, who did the public associate the mark with a particular good or service first), and whether they have been using it continuously using the mark since then. DL may look for grounds to challenge the mark, but AA's quality is not a valid ground.
 
VS11
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:41 pm

scbriml wrote:
VS11 wrote:
Flagship does not mean "the best".


Really?

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictio ... h/flagship
flagship
noun [ C ]
UK /ˈflæɡ.ʃɪp/ US /ˈflæɡ.ʃɪp/
flagship noun [C] (BEST PRODUCT)

the best or most important product, idea, building, etc. that an organization owns or produces:
This machine is the flagship in our new range of computers.
The company's flagship store is in New York.


I am aware of what the dictionaries say. You seem to have excluded the second part of my post, which is that AA can argue that the secondary meaning of flagship to mean premium is derived from their own trademark.

Anyway, if Delta replaced FLAGSHIP with CLUB WORLD on their website selling tickets, you think it would be ok, and not a violation of BA's trademark?
 
TYWoolman
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:49 pm

D L X wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
Honestly, this case can be a landmark case. Can a company in such a heavy service-oriented industry be allowed to trademark a word that means "the best."

I think this case is pretty standard. Practically half the trademarks out there are words that mean "the best."

Pinnacle (Airlines)
Ichiban (Beer)
A-1 (Steak Sauce)
First (National Bank, Church of Christ, you name it)
Prime (Amazon)
Capital (One bank)
Champion (clothing)
Optima (tax relief)
Peerless (faucets)
Acme (everything)

TYWoolman wrote:
With that said, is there a requirement or precedent that one must continue to show that a trademark holder exemplify the trademark that they have applied for and use?

No.

TYWoolman wrote:
Can't Delta's argument be that our promoter scores are better, we are a better op, and in order to describe our services as adequately as possible so as not to confuse our own customers "flagship" is THE word to use.(?)


No. Trademark law is agnostic to the quality of service. Trademark cares first and foremost who developed the mark first (as in, who did the public associate the mark with a particular good or service first), and whether they have been using it continuously using the mark since then. DL may look for grounds to challenge the mark, but AA's quality is not a valid ground.



Interesting. To be fair, I have not flown American ever so I am not arguing from first-hand experience with them. But what say you on whether in an increasingly global economy it would be unfair for OneWorld carriers to use the term differentiating their services to Delta without allowing Delta the same. This has to be one of Delta's reasoning to be using it.
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:56 pm

AA has been using the term since the 1930's. They Trademarked it in 1999 and Reissued it in 2009.
They have a legal obligation to protect the "mark" and this is almost a slam dunk, IMH and non legal opinion.
 
VS11
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 4:56 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
VS11 wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
Honestly, this case can be a landmark case. Can a company in such a heavy service-oriented industry be allowed to trademark a word that means "the best."


Flagship does not mean "the best". And said company (AA) can argue that any connotation of the word "flagship" to indicate a premium quality service in passenger air travel is due entirely to their trademark - very much like the corporate name Xerox ended up meaning to photocopy.



Well it doesn't mean that per se but does have connotations and meaning to infer "best in-class."
And respectfully any company can argue anything they want but useless if not proven, as "premium service" is very subjective. It comes down to whether Flagship SHOULD be trademarkable in every and all instances in U.S. air-transport in an ever increasing global market. Flagship does associate with American in my mind but not necessarily because of an "experience" memory.


So Delta can use "best in-class" or other non-trademarked way to describe what they believe their services are. Bottom line is that Flagship is already a registered trademark, and other airlines have to be mindful how they use the word flagship. The trademark has to signify origin, and the way Delta is using it on their website to sell tickets can very well lead to the assumption for someone who is familiar with the AA trademark, that the tickets sold are for the Flagship service on AA, and that Delta is acting simply as an agent of AA. (Airlines acting as agents for other airlines and selling, especially full-fare, tickets is still an industry practice)
 
TYWoolman
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:08 pm

VS11 wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
VS11 wrote:

Flagship does not mean "the best". And said company (AA) can argue that any connotation of the word "flagship" to indicate a premium quality service in passenger air travel is due entirely to their trademark - very much like the corporate name Xerox ended up meaning to photocopy.



Well it doesn't mean that per se but does have connotations and meaning to infer "best in-class."
And respectfully any company can argue anything they want but useless if not proven, as "premium service" is very subjective. It comes down to whether Flagship SHOULD be trademarkable in every and all instances in U.S. air-transport in an ever increasing global market. Flagship does associate with American in my mind but not necessarily because of an "experience" memory.


So Delta can use "best in-class" or other non-trademarked way to describe what they believe their services are. Bottom line is that Flagship is already a registered trademark, and other airlines have to be mindful how they use the word flagship. The trademark has to signify origin, and the way Delta is using it on their website to sell tickets can very well lead to the assumption for someone who is familiar with the AA trademark, that the tickets sold are for the Flagship service on AA, and that Delta is acting simply as an agent of AA. (Airlines acting as agents for other airlines and selling, especially full-fare, tickets is still an industry practice)


Technically, true. Usually there is an indication who is operating the flight, however. Following that logic, a passenger knowingly or unknowingly at time of purchase can later sue Delta based on American's contract of carriage, simply by the use of Flagship?
 
D L X
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:11 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
Following that logic, a passenger knowingly or unknowingly at time of purchase can later sue Delta based on American's contract of carriage, simply by the use of Flagship?

Huh?
 
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hilram
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:14 pm

2019: AA sues DL over the term “Flagship”
2020: AA sues UA over the term “Premium” (as in “Premium Economy”)
2021: AA sues DL over the term “Business” (as in Business Class)
2022: AA sues WN over the term “Economy”
2023: Anonymous Alcoholics sues American Airlines over the abbreviation AA. ;-)
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scbriml
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:18 pm

hilram wrote:
2023: Anonymous Alcoholics sues American Airlines over the abbreviation AA.


2024: Automobile Association sues Alcoholics Anonymous...
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TYWoolman
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:32 pm

D L X wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
Following that logic, a passenger knowingly or unknowingly at time of purchase can later sue Delta based on American's contract of carriage, simply by the use of Flagship?

Huh?


If someone thought they were on an American Airlines flight since they bought a Flagship product on Delta.com, and in doing so, have unequivocal reason to think that they are on an American Airlines flight despite the widget on the tail and plum-uniformed smiling faces, would that passenger have grounds, for whatever legally necessitates them (accident, scorpion bite) to sue Delta under American contract of carriage? This is my demented way of figuring how strong Flagship is associated with American. Or how innocent Delta uses the term. No answer needed! It truly is ridiculous.
Last edited by TYWoolman on Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
gsg013
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:34 pm

I've seen the term used by Delta when you go to book and the aircraft is the A350 a little red icon reads "flagship" referring that the A350 is their premier aircraft.
 
D L X
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:41 pm

TYWoolman wrote:
D L X wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
Following that logic, a passenger knowingly or unknowingly at time of purchase can later sue Delta based on American's contract of carriage, simply by the use of Flagship?

Huh?


If someone thought they were on an American Airlines flight since they bought a Flagship product on Delta.com, and in doing so, have unequivocal reason to think that they are on an American Airlines flight despite the widget on the tail and plum-uniformed smiling faces, would that passenger have grounds, for whatever legally necessitates them (accident, scorpion bite) to sue Delta instead under American contract of carriage? This is my demented way of figuring how strong Flagship is associated with American. No answer needed! It truly is ridiculous.

Ok.
Yes, that is part of the problem — passengers may believe they have purchased an AA ticket only to discover they have purchased a DL ticket. Then if something goes sideways, sue DL. But DL’s contract of carriage will control since it’s DL’s ticket that the customer purchased, even though they thought it was an AA ticket. The trademarks have nothing to do with it other than being the source of confusion. The confusion tricked the customer into entering a contract with DL instead of with AA. They don’t import AA’s policies into the case. (Though it may be relevant for damages.)
hilram wrote:
2019: AA sues DL over the term “Flagship”
Yes, because AA has a trademark on Flagship. (See numerous posts above.)
hilram wrote:
2020: AA sues UA over the term “Premium” (as in “Premium Economy”)
2021: AA sues DL over the term “Business” (as in Business Class)
2022: AA sues WN over the term “Economy”

No, because AA does not have a trademark on “Premium,” “Business,” or “Economy.”

You guys are making this harder than it is.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:51 pm

JAMBOJET wrote:
It’s easy to see why AA would sue over use of the word Flagship by Delta when Delta doesn’t offer any kind of premium offering On the ground like AA/UA do with their lounges or when Delta takes an old business seat and reupholstered it but calls it “flagship” then uses the term with bloggers repeatedly to market their offering as “flagship”, a word used over and over by American for products Delta doesn’t offer.
https://thepointsguy.com/news/delta-777 ... trofitted/


But DL does not market any Boeing flights as "Flagship." It's just the 359. And that hard product - Vantage seats in a suite - can fairly be described as "flagship."

(I'm not arguing the merits of the trademark law claim, just clearing up Delta's current use of the term.)
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jumbojet
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:54 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
JAMBOJET wrote:
It’s easy to see why AA would sue over use of the word Flagship by Delta when Delta doesn’t offer any kind of premium offering On the ground like AA/UA do with their lounges or when Delta takes an old business seat and reupholstered it but calls it “flagship” then uses the term with bloggers repeatedly to market their offering as “flagship”, a word used over and over by American for products Delta doesn’t offer.
https://thepointsguy.com/news/delta-777 ... trofitted/


But DL does not market any Boeing flights as "Flagship." It's just the 359. And that hard product - Vantage seats in a suite - can fairly be described as "flagship."

(I'm not arguing the merits of the trademark law claim, just clearing up Delta's current use of the term.)

I haven’t looked into that, certainly. The blog link I sent makes it look like they clearly communicated the word flagship to bloggers related to 777 and 767 interiors
TPG even put quotations around “flagship” denoting how it was communicated to them by Delta.

Google “delta 767 flagship” and you get an entire marketing blast by many many news organizations parroting the word “flagship”
If a PR firm didn’t do that purposefully, it sure is an incredible coincidence.
Last edited by JAMBOJET on Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
 
TYWoolman
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 5:54 pm

D L X wrote:
TYWoolman wrote:
D L X wrote:
Huh?


If someone thought they were on an American Airlines flight since they bought a Flagship product on Delta.com, and in doing so, have unequivocal reason to think that they are on an American Airlines flight despite the widget on the tail and plum-uniformed smiling faces, would that passenger have grounds, for whatever legally necessitates them (accident, scorpion bite) to sue Delta instead under American contract of carriage? This is my demented way of figuring how strong Flagship is associated with American. No answer needed! It truly is ridiculous.

Ok.
Yes, that is part of the problem — passengers may believe they have purchased an AA ticket only to discover they have purchased a DL ticket. Then if something goes sideways, sue DL. But DL’s contract of carriage will control since it’s DL’s ticket that the customer purchased, even though they thought it was an AA ticket. The trademarks have nothing to do with it other than being the source of confusion. The confusion tricked the customer into entering a contract with DL instead of with AA. They don’t import AA’s policies into the case. (Though it may be relevant for damages.)
hilram wrote:
2019: AA sues DL over the term “Flagship”
Yes, because AA has a trademark on Flagship. (See numerous posts above.)
hilram wrote:
2020: AA sues UA over the term “Premium” (as in “Premium Economy”)
2021: AA sues DL over the term “Business” (as in Business Class)
2022: AA sues WN over the term “Economy”

No, because AA does not have a trademark on “Premium,” “Business,” or “Economy.”

You guys are making this harder than it is.



Thanks for comment. This is crazy interesting.
 
questions
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:07 pm

On LAX-SYD Delta is using a tag of NEW INTERIOR at flight selection during booking to denote a refurbished 777 is assigned to the route. From a sales perspective this makes sense.

While denoting FLAGSHIP and NEW INTERIOR may seem to be offering customer friendly information, I’m sure Delta is trying to push a revenue premium for these flights.

I don’t know why Delta feels the need to promote the A350 over its other wide body aircraft. From a customer experience perspective is it any different than a refurbished 777? Why not just tag the flight NEW A350?
 
Cubsrule
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:13 pm

JAMBOJET wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
JAMBOJET wrote:
It’s easy to see why AA would sue over use of the word Flagship by Delta when Delta doesn’t offer any kind of premium offering On the ground like AA/UA do with their lounges or when Delta takes an old business seat and reupholstered it but calls it “flagship” then uses the term with bloggers repeatedly to market their offering as “flagship”, a word used over and over by American for products Delta doesn’t offer.
https://thepointsguy.com/news/delta-777 ... trofitted/


But DL does not market any Boeing flights as "Flagship." It's just the 359. And that hard product - Vantage seats in a suite - can fairly be described as "flagship."

(I'm not arguing the merits of the trademark law claim, just clearing up Delta's current use of the term.)

I haven’t looked into that, certainly. The blog link I sent makes it look like they clearly communicated the word flagship to bloggers related to 777 and 767 interiors
TPG even put quotations around “flagship” denoting how it was communicated to them by Delta.

Google “delta 767 flagship” and you get an entire marketing blast by many many news organizations parroting the word “flagship”
If a PR firm didn’t do that purposefully, it sure is an incredible coincidence.


Yes - the marketing blast said that 764/77E/77L would undergo upgrades that would -- i.e. in the future -- "bring them up to flagship standards." AFAIK DL has never described the current/old hard product on those airplanes as "flagship." If you mess around with the booking engine, you'll see that the booking engine describes only the 359 as "flagship," and I think that is a fair description of the 359's product.
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D L X
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:29 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
JAMBOJET wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

But DL does not market any Boeing flights as "Flagship." It's just the 359. And that hard product - Vantage seats in a suite - can fairly be described as "flagship."

(I'm not arguing the merits of the trademark law claim, just clearing up Delta's current use of the term.)

I haven’t looked into that, certainly. The blog link I sent makes it look like they clearly communicated the word flagship to bloggers related to 777 and 767 interiors
TPG even put quotations around “flagship” denoting how it was communicated to them by Delta.

Google “delta 767 flagship” and you get an entire marketing blast by many many news organizations parroting the word “flagship”
If a PR firm didn’t do that purposefully, it sure is an incredible coincidence.


Yes - the marketing blast said that 764/77E/77L would undergo upgrades that would -- i.e. in the future -- "bring them up to flagship standards." AFAIK DL has never described the current/old hard product on those airplanes as "flagship." If you mess around with the booking engine, you'll see that the booking engine describes only the 359 as "flagship," and I think that is a fair description of the 359's product.

Which brings it back to the center of this topic: this is the reason DL’s use of “flagship” is so problematic. They’re trying to remove “flagship” from being AA’s thing just as much as they’re trying to make it their own thing, but blasting the term all over their website and pressers.
 
VS11
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:35 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
JAMBOJET wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

But DL does not market any Boeing flights as "Flagship." It's just the 359. And that hard product - Vantage seats in a suite - can fairly be described as "flagship."

(I'm not arguing the merits of the trademark law claim, just clearing up Delta's current use of the term.)

I haven’t looked into that, certainly. The blog link I sent makes it look like they clearly communicated the word flagship to bloggers related to 777 and 767 interiors
TPG even put quotations around “flagship” denoting how it was communicated to them by Delta.

Google “delta 767 flagship” and you get an entire marketing blast by many many news organizations parroting the word “flagship”
If a PR firm didn’t do that purposefully, it sure is an incredible coincidence.


Yes - the marketing blast said that 764/77E/77L would undergo upgrades that would -- i.e. in the future -- "bring them up to flagship standards." AFAIK DL has never described the current/old hard product on those airplanes as "flagship." If you mess around with the booking engine, you'll see that the booking engine describes only the 359 as "flagship," and I think that is a fair description of the 359's product.


And why can't they use "leading edge" to describe their A359? It is also directly related to airplanes. If they want to stay nautical, may I suggest Armada? Or Schooner? Or maybe even Clipper - Delta has history with Pan Am. Delta's planes do not even have the American FLAG on them. In fact, AA's planes have the American FLAG on them so calling AA's airplanes FLAGship is actually accurate and truthful. It is just an extremely poor choice of words for Delta.
 
superjeff
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:39 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
A few posters here are posting as though they are the judge writing after a decision has been made, or worse as the AA or Delta lawyers final arguments to the court. Hence assuming as proven from merely stating their argument. This is the notable logic fault of begging the question. An easy way to avoid it is simply stating that this is what you think the judge will say. But that he hasn't said it yet.

My suspicion is that AA will be awarded a very limited relief amongst all they have claimed.



You are correct in assuming that too many on this group are playing Judge and Jury here. My personal belief (I am a lawyer but not a litigator) is that this will be resolved well before trial, by either an agreement that Delta will not use the "Flagship" term, or a permanent injunction by the Court preventing them from using it. "Flagship" and "Flagship Service" have been American trademarks for years, along with the likes of United's "Red Carpet" and "Mainliner" terms. Delta's "Gold Crown",service, TWA's "Ambassador" and "Royal Ambassador", Northwest's "Imperial", Eastern's "Whisperjet", and National's "Sun King", and Pan Am's "President Special", "Clipper", and "Rainbow Economy". .All of those were registered "service marks" and would likely be protected b y the courts. If Delta's smart, they'll try to negotiate something. Whether Delta's hard and soft product is better or worse than American's isn't relevant here, just the name. And American will, in my opinion, prevail.

Jeff
 
Cubsrule
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:40 pm

D L X wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
JAMBOJET wrote:
I haven’t looked into that, certainly. The blog link I sent makes it look like they clearly communicated the word flagship to bloggers related to 777 and 767 interiors
TPG even put quotations around “flagship” denoting how it was communicated to them by Delta.

Google “delta 767 flagship” and you get an entire marketing blast by many many news organizations parroting the word “flagship”
If a PR firm didn’t do that purposefully, it sure is an incredible coincidence.


Yes - the marketing blast said that 764/77E/77L would undergo upgrades that would -- i.e. in the future -- "bring them up to flagship standards." AFAIK DL has never described the current/old hard product on those airplanes as "flagship." If you mess around with the booking engine, you'll see that the booking engine describes only the 359 as "flagship," and I think that is a fair description of the 359's product.

Which brings it back to the center of this topic: this is the reason DL’s use of “flagship” is so problematic. They’re trying to remove “flagship” from being AA’s thing just as much as they’re trying to make it their own thing, but blasting the term all over their website and pressers.


To be fair, though, it also explains why granting protection on "flagship" - a dictionary adjective that could describe accurately some product offered by just about every airline - is at least arguably problematic.
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D L X
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:22 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
D L X wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

Yes - the marketing blast said that 764/77E/77L would undergo upgrades that would -- i.e. in the future -- "bring them up to flagship standards." AFAIK DL has never described the current/old hard product on those airplanes as "flagship." If you mess around with the booking engine, you'll see that the booking engine describes only the 359 as "flagship," and I think that is a fair description of the 359's product.

Which brings it back to the center of this topic: this is the reason DL’s use of “flagship” is so problematic. They’re trying to remove “flagship” from being AA’s thing just as much as they’re trying to make it their own thing, but blasting the term all over their website and pressers.


To be fair, though, it also explains why granting protection on "flagship" - a dictionary adjective that could describe accurately some product offered by just about every airline - is at least arguably problematic.

That's extremely typical though.

Progressive
Allstate
Eastern
Budget
Thrifty

Half the brands out there are just adjectives that could have been used by other companies, but those other companies didn't get to a point where the word had secondary meaning. Once the public sees a word or phrase as having a secondary meaning, the company can trademark it.
 
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:36 pm

UpNAWAy wrote:
AA has been using the term since the 1930's. They Trademarked it in 1999 and Reissued it in 2009.
They have a legal obligation to protect the "mark" and this is almost a slam dunk, IMH and non legal opinion.


They actually had an earlier trademark back to 1957, demonstrating first use in commerce in 1936.
 
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:22 pm

D L X wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
D L X wrote:
Which brings it back to the center of this topic: this is the reason DL’s use of “flagship” is so problematic. They’re trying to remove “flagship” from being AA’s thing just as much as they’re trying to make it their own thing, but blasting the term all over their website and pressers.


To be fair, though, it also explains why granting protection on "flagship" - a dictionary adjective that could describe accurately some product offered by just about every airline - is at least arguably problematic.

That's extremely typical though.

Progressive
Allstate
Eastern
Budget
Thrifty

Half the brands out there are just adjectives that could have been used by other companies, but those other companies didn't get to a point where the word had secondary meaning. Once the public sees a word or phrase as having a secondary meaning, the company can trademark it.


It’s not clear to me that the public sees “Flagship” as having an AA-associated secondary meaning. And if it’s not AA-specific, it’s not protectable (AA can’t trademark “first class” or “business class”).
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:26 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
D L X wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

To be fair, though, it also explains why granting protection on "flagship" - a dictionary adjective that could describe accurately some product offered by just about every airline - is at least arguably problematic.

That's extremely typical though.

Progressive
Allstate
Eastern
Budget
Thrifty

Half the brands out there are just adjectives that could have been used by other companies, but those other companies didn't get to a point where the word had secondary meaning. Once the public sees a word or phrase as having a secondary meaning, the company can trademark it.


It’s not clear to me that the public sees “Flagship” as having an AA-associated secondary meaning. And if it’s not AA-specific, it’s not protectable (AA can’t trademark “first class” or “business class”).

The public, in 2019, doesn't have to see a secondary meaning. AA already has the trademark.

In any event, you can go back in time looking at hundreds if not thousands of AA ads touting their "Flagship" products.
Last edited by D L X on Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:28 pm

D L X wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
D L X wrote:
That's extremely typical though.

Progressive
Allstate
Eastern
Budget
Thrifty

Half the brands out there are just adjectives that could have been used by other companies, but those other companies didn't get to a point where the word had secondary meaning. Once the public sees a word or phrase as having a secondary meaning, the company can trademark it.


It’s not clear to me that the public sees “Flagship” as having an AA-associated secondary meaning. And if it’s not AA-specific, it’s not protectable (AA can’t trademark “first class” or “business class”).

The public, in 2019, doesn't have to see a secondary meaning. AA already has the trademark.


Sort of true. If the mark is or becomes generic, AA loses it. I expect that’s the true motivation behind this lawsuit, although AA’s service is so poor lately that “flagship” is hardly descriptive.
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D L X
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:36 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
D L X wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

It’s not clear to me that the public sees “Flagship” as having an AA-associated secondary meaning. And if it’s not AA-specific, it’s not protectable (AA can’t trademark “first class” or “business class”).

The public, in 2019, doesn't have to see a secondary meaning. AA already has the trademark.


Sort of true. If the mark is or becomes generic, AA loses it. I expect that’s the true motivation behind this lawsuit, although AA’s service is so poor lately that “flagship” is hardly descriptive.

"Flagship" does not have to be descriptive of AA's product to maintain its trademark.

Is Progressive auto insurance progressive? Is Thrifty rental care thrifty? Is Amazon.com Amazonian? Meeting a quality has never been a requirement of trademark. It's all secondary meaning, which simply means that the public associates it with a brand.

As for genericness though, yes -- becoming generic kills a trademark. Just ask Escalator... which I'm guessing most people here did not know was actually a brand at one point in time.

I don't think AA's problem is that the term becomes generic. That would mean that everyone associates "Flagship" with air travel, just not with American.
 
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:42 pm

I think it’s fair for DL or any other carrier to use the term. AA must think little of their customers if they think they would be in any way confused.
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IADCA
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:49 pm

It's amusing to me that most of the people arguing with the IP lawyer on this thread can't seem to separate the concepts of infringement and trademarkability.

I'd also be curious how some of these same people would feel if AA suddenly started to use the phrase "keep climbing" in its branding, no matter in how minor a way.
Last edited by IADCA on Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:52 pm

D L X wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
D L X wrote:
The public, in 2019, doesn't have to see a secondary meaning. AA already has the trademark.


Sort of true. If the mark is or becomes generic, AA loses it. I expect that’s the true motivation behind this lawsuit, although AA’s service is so poor lately that “flagship” is hardly descriptive.

"Flagship" does not have to be descriptive of AA's product to maintain its trademark.

Is Progressive auto insurance progressive? Is Thrifty rental care thrifty? Is Amazon.com Amazonian? Meeting a quality has never been a requirement of trademark. It's all secondary meaning, which simply means that the public associates it with a brand.

As for genericness though, yes -- becoming generic kills a trademark. Just ask Escalator... which I'm guessing most people here did not know was actually a brand at one point in time.

I don't think AA's problem is that the term becomes generic. That would mean that everyone associates "Flagship" with air travel, just not with American.


Sorry, you're correct. I didn't mean to suggest that descriptiveness is a requirement of trademark. I do think -- though you may tell me that there's case law that forecloses this argument -- that descriptiveness can help combat genericness. If people think of Thrifty car rental as especially thrifty, isn't that evidence that the term isn't generic?
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:03 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
D L X wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

Sort of true. If the mark is or becomes generic, AA loses it. I expect that’s the true motivation behind this lawsuit, although AA’s service is so poor lately that “flagship” is hardly descriptive.

"Flagship" does not have to be descriptive of AA's product to maintain its trademark.

Is Progressive auto insurance progressive? Is Thrifty rental care thrifty? Is Amazon.com Amazonian? Meeting a quality has never been a requirement of trademark. It's all secondary meaning, which simply means that the public associates it with a brand.

As for genericness though, yes -- becoming generic kills a trademark. Just ask Escalator... which I'm guessing most people here did not know was actually a brand at one point in time.

I don't think AA's problem is that the term becomes generic. That would mean that everyone associates "Flagship" with air travel, just not with American.


Sorry, you're correct. I didn't mean to suggest that descriptiveness is a requirement of trademark. I do think -- though you may tell me that there's case law that forecloses this argument -- that descriptiveness can help combat genericness. If people think of Thrifty car rental as especially thrifty, isn't that evidence that the term isn't generic?

I don't *think* that's quite right -- I think the best way to describe it is that a generic term is one that the public attributes to this good or service regardless of its source. Like how it didn't matter if the escalator were made by Otis or some other company, people called that stairy raisy THING an escalator, and that was the end of Otis' trademark. If people think "thrifty" becomes synonymous with "car rental," they'll lose that trademark. If people think "Flagship" is synonymous with premium air travel regardless of airline, AA will lose their trademark.

I don't think "Flagship" has ever described air travel any more than "Best" could describe air travel. It's a suggestive mark, not a descriptive one.
 
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:45 pm

D L X wrote:
I don't think "Flagship" has ever described air travel any more than "Best" could describe air travel. It's a suggestive mark, not a descriptive one.


This is the danger of folks on a.net, who are not representative of consumers writ large, discussing and debating this point, but to me “flagship” connotes the best regardless of carrier. Concorde was BA and AF’s flagship a generation ago. As a frequent flier but not a particularly frequent AA customer, I don’t ascribe AA-specific meaning to the word.
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seanpmassey
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:28 am

Cubsrule wrote:
D L X wrote:
I don't think "Flagship" has ever described air travel any more than "Best" could describe air travel. It's a suggestive mark, not a descriptive one.


This is the danger of folks on a.net, who are not representative of consumers writ large, discussing and debating this point, but to me “flagship” connotes the best regardless of carrier. Concorde was BA and AF’s flagship a generation ago. As a frequent flier but not a particularly frequent AA customer, I don’t ascribe AA-specific meaning to the word.


(IANAL....just adding my two cents in here)

This seems to be how other airlines are using the word "Flagship" in conjunction with their service, as others have posted in this thread. And while those airlines are not US-based, they are offering service to the US and describing that service offering as being "flagship" in some capacity based on the dictionary definition. Delta is just being the most egregious about it, but a recent example from Lufthansa was also posted.

Is AA using "flagship" with the connotation of "the best?" If so, wouldn't that just make it a descriptive mark that is not subject to trademark as that is one definition of "flagship"? If not, is AA going to file suit against anyone who provides international air transportation service to the US (that is not a business partner) while describing some aspect of that service as "flagship"? Wouldn't that be required in order to defend the trademark?
 
DC10LAXJFK
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:57 am

I tend to think that if Delta had, instead, on their booking websites said FLAGSHIP AIRCRAFT, then in that context it would have the general understanding meaning and likely would not be a problem for American. (Similarly, when Lufthansa or Emirates says "our Flagship A380", it's clear they're referring to a jet, not a service). It's when Delta is marketing and promoting flights, seats, services as "up to flagship standards", it then implies that flagship is more than just an aircraft but some type of premium service - and that's the service (all of it) that American has trademarked. That's why American has to move to litigation to protect it, otherwise it's at risk of moving into full public use and their trademark would be lost.
 
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zeke
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:18 am

D L X wrote:
What use in commerce is Apple or Whole Foods using "Flagship," and for what goods and services is that word being used?


The term flagship is being used to describe their biggest and newest stores in the best locations. Consumers are bombarded with the term flagship from everywhere.

Many of these flagship stores offer services which AA claim to have a trademark over. AA trademark on flagship is so broad, I don’t see its relevance.

https://www.insider-trends.com/33-more- ... ip-stores/

http://www.insider-trends.com/top-50-fl ... the-world/

How many companies in the US have trademarks with flagship in it ? Is it 30 or 40 ?

Does a consumer when they hear the word flagship actually think of AA ? I don’t personally I associate it with the Apple flagship store in NY.

When making a trademark application isn’t the onus on AA to exclude other uses of the trademark term which consumers can confuse with the trademark ?

“ (D) to the best of the verifier’s knowledge and belief, no other person has the right to use such mark in commerce either in the identical form thereof or in such near resemblance thereto as to be likely, when used on or in connection with the goods of such other person, to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive, except that, in the case of every application claiming concurrent use, the applicant shall—
(i) state exceptions to the claim of exclusive use; and
(ii) shall [1] specify, to the extent of the verifier’s knowledge—
(I) any concurrent use by others;
(II) the goods on or in connection with which and the areas in which each concurrent use exists;
(III) the periods of each use; and
(IV) the goods and area for which the applicant desires registration.”

Isn’t the normal nautical use of term flagship something AA should have excluded from their application in the first place as it was already in use and would “cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive” ?

The nautical term flagship predates AA, it predates the United States.
Last edited by zeke on Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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777Mech
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:27 am

VS11 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
JAMBOJET wrote:
I haven’t looked into that, certainly. The blog link I sent makes it look like they clearly communicated the word flagship to bloggers related to 777 and 767 interiors
TPG even put quotations around “flagship” denoting how it was communicated to them by Delta.

Google “delta 767 flagship” and you get an entire marketing blast by many many news organizations parroting the word “flagship”
If a PR firm didn’t do that purposefully, it sure is an incredible coincidence.


Yes - the marketing blast said that 764/77E/77L would undergo upgrades that would -- i.e. in the future -- "bring them up to flagship standards." AFAIK DL has never described the current/old hard product on those airplanes as "flagship." If you mess around with the booking engine, you'll see that the booking engine describes only the 359 as "flagship," and I think that is a fair description of the 359's product.


And why can't they use "leading edge" to describe their A359? It is also directly related to airplanes. If they want to stay nautical, may I suggest Armada? Or Schooner? Or maybe even Clipper - Delta has history with Pan Am. Delta's planes do not even have the American FLAG on them. In fact, AA's planes have the American FLAG on them so calling AA's airplanes FLAGship is actually accurate and truthful. It is just an extremely poor choice of words for Delta.


DL most certainly have the American flag on their airplanes. Look at any tail number, and it's there.
 
VS11
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:29 am

777Mech wrote:
VS11 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

Yes - the marketing blast said that 764/77E/77L would undergo upgrades that would -- i.e. in the future -- "bring them up to flagship standards." AFAIK DL has never described the current/old hard product on those airplanes as "flagship." If you mess around with the booking engine, you'll see that the booking engine describes only the 359 as "flagship," and I think that is a fair description of the 359's product.


And why can't they use "leading edge" to describe their A359? It is also directly related to airplanes. If they want to stay nautical, may I suggest Armada? Or Schooner? Or maybe even Clipper - Delta has history with Pan Am. Delta's planes do not even have the American FLAG on them. In fact, AA's planes have the American FLAG on them so calling AA's airplanes FLAGship is actually accurate and truthful. It is just an extremely poor choice of words for Delta.


DL most certainly have the American flag on their airplanes. Look at any tail number, and it's there.


You know I meant the livery.
 
alfa164
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:40 am

VS11 wrote:
777Mech wrote:
VS11 wrote:
And why can't they use "leading edge" to describe their A359? It is also directly related to airplanes. If they want to stay nautical, may I suggest Armada? Or Schooner? Or maybe even Clipper - Delta has history with Pan Am. Delta's planes do not even have the American FLAG on them. In fact, AA's planes have the American FLAG on them so calling AA's airplanes FLAGship is actually accurate and truthful. It is just an extremely poor choice of words for Delta.

DL most certainly have the American flag on their airplanes. Look at any tail number, and it's there.

You know I meant the livery.


I would not call AA's mess-of-a-livery an "American flag". If you do, it is an insult to Betsy Ross and her admirers...

:roll:
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D L X
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:57 am

zeke wrote:
D L X wrote:
What use in commerce is Apple or Whole Foods using "Flagship," and for what goods and services is that word being used?


The term flagship is being used to describe their biggest and newest stores in the best locations. Consumers are bombarded with the term flagship from everywhere.

but you didn’t answer my question. How are APPLE and WHOLE FOODS using the term “flagship?”

Not how do people in the public use the term—the public doesn’t matter: they’re not selling anything. Trademark depends on a merchant selling someone or service and using a term to describe it. So, what are APPLE and WHOLE FOODS using “flagship” to sell?

I believe the answer is, they’re not.

zeke wrote:
“ (D) to the best of the verifier’s knowledge and belief, no other person has the right to use such mark in commerce either in the identical form thereof or in such near resemblance thereto as to be likely, when used on or in connection with the goods of such other person, to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive, except that, in the case of every application claiming concurrent use, the applicant shall—
(i) state exceptions to the claim of exclusive use; and
(ii) shall [1] specify, to the extent of the verifier’s knowledge—
(I) any concurrent use by others;
(II) the goods on or in connection with which and the areas in which each concurrent use exists;
(III) the periods of each use; and
(IV) the goods and area for which the applicant desires registration.”


What are you quoting from?


zeke wrote:
Isn’t the normal nautical use of term flagship something AA should have excluded from their application in the first place as it was already in use and would “cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive” ?

The nautical term flagship predates AA, it predates the United States.


The word Amazon predates Amazon.com

The word Progressive predates Progressive Auto Insurance.

The word Ford predates Ford Motor Company.

The word DELTA predates Delta Air Lines.

I hope these examples show that a word predating it’s use as a brand is wholly irrelevant.
 
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:16 am

D L X wrote:
I don't *think* that's quite right -- I think the best way to describe it is that a generic term is one that the public attributes to this good or service regardless of its source. Like how it didn't matter if the escalator were made by Otis or some other company, people called that stairy raisy THING an escalator, and that was the end of Otis' trademark. If people think "thrifty" becomes synonymous with "car rental," they'll lose that trademark. If people think "Flagship" is synonymous with premium air travel regardless of airline, AA will lose their trademark.

I don't think "Flagship" has ever described air travel any more than "Best" could describe air travel. It's a suggestive mark, not a descriptive one.


First- thank you for taking the time to educate many of us in the nuances of your professional specialty.

But can you clarify this for me: if Otis lost their trademark on "escalator" because it became a generic term, then why does Kimberly-Clark retain the "Kleenex" trademark? Surely, the latter example is fairly close to the former, no? Of course, most people understand that the product is a tissue, ("facial tissue", yet not "toilet tissue"?) but its largely referred to by its trademarked name.....

[I ask this only as a point of interest. It seems clear to me that Delta is intentionally attempting to strip/devalue this branding from AA, for whatever reason]
 
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:31 am

FlyHappy wrote:
D L X wrote:
I don't *think* that's quite right -- I think the best way to describe it is that a generic term is one that the public attributes to this good or service regardless of its source. Like how it didn't matter if the escalator were made by Otis or some other company, people called that stairy raisy THING an escalator, and that was the end of Otis' trademark. If people think "thrifty" becomes synonymous with "car rental," they'll lose that trademark. If people think "Flagship" is synonymous with premium air travel regardless of airline, AA will lose their trademark.

I don't think "Flagship" has ever described air travel any more than "Best" could describe air travel. It's a suggestive mark, not a descriptive one.


First- thank you for taking the time to educate many of us in the nuances of your professional specialty.

But can you clarify this for me: if Otis lost their trademark on "escalator" because it became a generic term, then why does Kimberly-Clark retain the "Kleenex" trademark? Surely, the latter example is fairly close to the former, no? Of course, most people understand that the product is a tissue, ("facial tissue", yet not "toilet tissue"?) but its largely referred to by its trademarked name.....

[I ask this only as a point of interest. It seems clear to me that Delta is intentionally attempting to strip/devalue this branding from AA, for whatever reason]

Heh. You actually made me look something up, because I’ve used kleenex as an example of a brand that has become generic and did not think Kimberly-Clark still had a trademark on it. I do know that Kimberly-Clark has worked to keep their brand, but I’m guessing no one has actually gone to court to challenge it. So my answer is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Otis lost “escalator” in court. Kleenex is trying to avoid that, but they’ve done such a bad job of it that many people think it’s already happened.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatl ... le/380733/
 
FlyHappy
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:59 am

D L X wrote:
Heh. You actually made me look something up, because I’ve used kleenex as an example of a brand that has become generic and did not think Kimberly-Clark still had a trademark on it. I do know that Kimberly-Clark has worked to keep their brand, but I’m guessing no one has actually gone to court to challenge it. So my answer is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Otis lost “escalator” in court. Kleenex is trying to avoid that, but they’ve done such a bad job of it that many people think it’s already happened.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatl ... le/380733/


Thank you for that cited article - fascinating!
To think of all those previously trademarked, yet genericized terms, "videotape", "dry ice"? Dang. To think how my mother asks for "Tabasco" in any restaurant, meaning *any* kind of hot sauce ( on that note, I find it fun and interesting that "Sri Racha" is not trademarked, and the product may eventually surpass Tabasco in recognition and popularity, as a direct competitor! ).

For anyone interested in the this thread, and the subtleties of trademarks - the articles boils it down succinctly by stating how "paradoxical" the laws are. For those here opining that AA has not managed to capture "Flagship" as being synonomous with their services... well, that actually seems to strengthen their legal position.... paradoxically. So odd and interesting.

[ps - my lay guess about Kleenex is that the industry is too low margin and fragmented for anyone to foot a large legal bill to challenge Kimberly-Clark in court, despite a reasonable chance of winning.]
 
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zeke
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Re: AA sues DL over the use of the term “Flagship”

Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:26 am

D L X wrote:
Not how do people in the public use the term—the public doesn’t matter: they’re not selling anything. Trademark depends on a merchant selling someone or service and using a term to describe it. So, what are APPLE and WHOLE FOODS using “flagship” to sell?


I don’t know if they are, however surely the way the public and the media use a word does change things.
It’s not like I made up that list of 50 flagship stores.

The Apple flagship store has many escalators in it !!

I also provided the example of the flagship ballroom which is hotel, conference, hospitality related which AA claim to have a flagship trademark over.

https://www.seaportboston.com/meeting-e ... p-ballroom

D L X wrote:
What are you quoting from?


15.1501, application for a trademark. Sorry I thought you said you were a IP attorney, I had assumed you would know the law on how to apply for a trademark.

D L X wrote:
The word Amazon predates Amazon.com

The word Progressive predates Progressive Auto Insurance.

The word Ford predates Ford Motor Company.

The word DELTA predates Delta Air Lines.

I hope these examples show that a word predating it’s use as a brand is wholly irrelevant.


None of those are good examples, would delta airlines take action if someone designed an aircraft with a delta wing ?

Flagship has been a nautical term used forever to describe the largest or most prestigious vessel in the fleet, and I never associated it with AA.

I still don’t think things are cut and dry as being suggested, they would not have done such things like calling the A350 their flagship aircraft without getting a legal opinion.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News

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