Samsung tries to trademark ‘HyperBright Display,’ falls flat


Samsung is apparently decking its Galaxy S IV future devices with a new, brighter and more energy-efficient display based on PHOLED technology which it will evidently call “HyperBright.” Samsung filed earlier this week to trademark the name, but its application was rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

Attached Image: unpacked teaser.png

I will explain PHOLED technology in more detail in another article, but in short the acronym stands for PHosphorescent Organic Light-Emitting Diode. It promises to increase energy efficiency up to four times as much as traditional SAMOLED displays which use fluorescent (not phosphorescent) organic material. Samsung also teased a potentially brighter display in one of its Unpacked videos (notice the scene at the 0:55 mark in the video below). UPDATE: no mention of HyperBright or PHOLED was made at the Galaxy S IV launch, so this new display may have to wait for the Galaxy Note 3 or for a Samsung tablet later this year (or even next year).

http://youtu.be/dIEfNaNCkKM

The USPTO rejected this application on the grounds that it is too generic and describes features present in many displays. In its own words, the office said, “Registration is refused because the applied-for mark merely describes features of applicant’s goods.” A more detailed explanation follows:


The attached evidence provides a dictionary definition for each term in the applicant’s mark: “hyper” (excessive), “bright” (giving off a great deal of light), and “display” (to provide on a computer screen.”

The evidence also shows that “hyper bright” is a very common type of LED display. The evidence consists of numerous screen captures for “hyper bright” LED devices. The applicant’s goods include display screen for smart phones, computers of various types, and televisions. All of these goods may feature LED display screens that are “hyper bright.” Because of this, the phrase “hyper bright display” is descriptive of a feature of the applicant’s goods.

Generally, if the individual components of a mark retain their descriptive meaning in relation to the goods, the combination results in a composite mark that is itself descriptive and not registrable. In re Phoseon Tech., Inc., 103 USPQ2d 1822, 1823 (TTAB 2012); TMEP §1209.03(d); see, e.g., In re King Koil Licensing Co., 79 USPQ2d 1048, 1052 (TTAB 2006) (holding THE BREATHABLE MATTRESS merely descriptive of beds, mattresses, box springs, and pillows where the evidence showed that the term “BREATHABLE” retained its ordinary dictionary meaning when combined with the term “MATTRESS” and the resulting combination was used in the relevant industry in a descriptive sense); In re Associated Theatre Clubs Co., 9 USPQ2d 1660, 1663 (TTAB 1988) (holding GROUP SALES BOX OFFICE merely descriptive of theater ticket sales services because such wording “is nothing more than a combination of the two common descriptive terms most applicable to applicant’s services which in combination achieve no different status but remain a common descriptive compound expression”).


- USPTO decision to deny Samsung’s trademark application for “HyperBright DIsplay

You can read all the gory details on the USPTO’s rejection here.]]>

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