Ryan Gile - Las Vegas Trademark Attorney - Vegas Trademark Attorney - Nevada Trademark Attorney
The Court stated the following regarding the evidence of the meaning of the term “The Rat Pack”:
Stated succinctly, Cunningham’s evidence establishes that, long before TRP offered live musical shows, the term the “The Rat Pack” had a meaning that was used in connection with the joint performances of members of the Rat Pack during the 1960s. While some of these performances included movie appearances, typically the joint performances were live musical performances. Since the 1960s, the term “The Rat Pack” has been used by producers of many types of goods or services to indicate that the goods or services relates to members of the Rat Pack or to the joint movie or live (or recorded) musical or movie performances of the Rat Pack during the 1960s. From its initial use to refer to members of the group, particularly when jointly performing live musical entertainment, “The Rat Pack” did not and, indeed, could not refer to or identify TRP’s live musical show.
The court acutely recognized that Defendants’ Motion was not directed towards TRP’s registered trademark but rather merely to the component term “The Rat Pack”:
The question before the court on Cunningham’s partial motion for summary judgment is not whether “The Rat Pack is Back” identifies and distinguishes TRP’s show in tribute to members of the Rat Pack from all other such live shows. Rather, the only question is whether the component term “The Rat Pack” so distinguishes TRP’s live show from all others about or in tribute to the Rat Pack. The evidence establishes that it does not and that TRP cannot appropriate the term “The Rat Pack” for its exclusive use.
And just to make it abundantly clear to TRP about the scope of its trademark rights, the court held that “As the term ‘The Rat Pack’ is generic in the context of live shows about or in tribute to members of the Rat Pack, TRP does not have an exclusive right to use the term ‘The Rat Pack.’”