Monday, September 25, 2023
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Engineering Firm Loses Claim to ‘Airflite’ Mark

(CN) - The owner of Aycock Engineering can't trademark the term Airflite for a charter flight taxi service he never got off the ground, the Federal Circuit ruled.

William Aycock registered the Airflite mark in 1974 for a business that would involve arranging individual seats on chartered flights. He laid the groundwork for the service, but never launched it.

In 2001, Airflite Inc. filed a petition for cancellation of the service mark, claiming Aycock did not actually use it in connection with an air taxi service.

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed and cancelled the Airflite registration.

The federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., sided with the trademark board.

Judge O'Grady said the mark's registration required Aycock to have arranged flights between an air taxi operator and a passenger. Because he never provided the service, he failed to meet the use requirement, the court concluded.

Judge Newman dissented, saying it was unfair for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to revoke a service mark 39 years after registration.

"[I]t is inappropriate for the PTO to criticize its own description of the services and on this ground to invalidate the registration as void when granted," Newman wrote.

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