Wax v. Amazon Techs., Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Trademarks
  • Date Filed: 01-14-2013
  • Case #: 2012-1494
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Rader, Lourie, and Moore
  • Full Text Opinion

Using a mark for a variety of services preserves a priority for the mark's use.

Opinion (Per Curiam): Jeffery S. Wax (Wax) filed an intent-to-use application with the trademark Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) for the trademark “AMAZON VENTURES” for use in his investment management business. The well-known internet company Amazon Technologies Inc. (ATI) opposed the registration. The PTO denied the registration of Wax’s mark because there was a likelihood of confusion, and ATI had common-law priority over Wax’s mark. Wax appealed. The PTO has the authority to deny trademark applications that might cause confusion. The Court found that the PTO did not err in its denial, because, despite Wax’s arguments to the contrary, “Amazon” and “Amazon.com” are used interchangeably in the marketplace. Furthermore, PTO did not err in finding that ATI’s trademarks had priority, because, although Amazon.com was not used for financial planning purposes, ATI did use the Amazon mark for a variety of other services that preserved the priority. The PTO’s ruling was AFFIRMED.

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