TMEP 1201.07(b)(iii): When the Record Does Not Support a Presumption of Unity of Control

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1201.07(b)(iii)    When the Record Does Not Support a Presumption of Unity of Control

If neither the applicant nor the registrant owns all or substantially all of the other entity, and USPTO records do not show their joint ownership of the application or cited registration (see TMEP §1201.07(b)(ii)), the applicant bears a more substantial burden to establish that unity of control is present. For instance, if both the applicant and the registrant are wholly owned by a third common parent, the applicant would have to provide detailed evidence to establish how one sister corporation controlled the trademark activities of the other to establish unity of control to support the contention that the sister corporations constitute a single source. See In re Pharmacia Inc., 2 USPQ2d 1883 (TTAB 1987); Greyhound Corp. v. Armour Life Ins. Co., 214 USPQ 473 (TTAB 1982). Likewise, where an applicant and registrant have certain stockholders, directors, or officers in common, the applicant must demonstrate with detailed evidence or explanation how those relationships establish unity of control. See Pneutek, Inc. v. Scherr, 211 USPQ 824 (TTAB 1981). The applicant’s evidence or explanation should generally be supported by an affidavit or a declaration under 37 C.F.R. §2.20.