Press Releases

Panitch Schwarze Wins Case in Front of Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

November 11, 2019

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 6, 2019) – Philadelphia intellectual property law firm Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel LLP is pleased to announce that it has won a significant decision on behalf of its client, The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, and its term life insurance product, Lincoln TermAccel®.

In January 2017, Kansas City Life Insurance Company applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for trademark registration for its life insurance services, AcceleTerm. In October 2017, The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company filed an opposition to Kansas City Life Insurance Company’s application, alleging priority and likelihood of confusion with its own prior registered mark for life insurance services, Lincoln TermAccel®.

In a decision published on Nov. 6, 2019, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) agreed with The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company and sustained its opposition.

“We find a likelihood of confusion between Opposer’s LINCOLN TERMACCEL and Applicant’s ACCELETERM as identified for identical services,” TTAB judges Thomas W. Wellington, Lorelei Ritchie, and David K. Heasley concluded.

The decision means that Kansas City Life Insurance Company cannot obtain U.S. trademark registration for its competing product.

“This decision is a victory for companies like The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company that invest significant resources in protecting their valuable intellectual property,” said Panitch Schwarze trademark attorney Bridget H. Labutta, who led the firm’s work in the case, along with the firm’s attorneys John D. Simmons and Keith A. Jones. “Strong protection of intellectual property assets is vital to drive and sustain innovation, and to ensure that consumers are able to make educated choices about the goods and services they buy.”

The full opinion and other documents related to the case, which was pursued through the TTAB’s streamlined resolution process, Accelerated Case Resolution (ACR), may be found here:

About Panitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel LLPPanitch Schwarze Belisario & Nadel LLP is a boutique intellectual property law firm with offices in Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. The firm’s IP law practitioners provide strategic litigation, licensing and counseling service relating to patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, domain names and internet issues domestically and internationally. The firm’s long-standing relationships with a network of associates worldwide enable its attorneys and advisors to provide clients with global intellectual property advice and protection.

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