Besides being billionaires, both Kylie Jenner and Donald Trump have had their Trademark Applications rejected by the USPTO. ❌ Why? Because applying for trademark registration is not as simple as checking boxes and filling out an application. When you file an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you are initiating a complex legal proceeding that expects you to understand the nuances of trademark law. Let's see how we can learn from these billionaires and their trademark mistakes.
Kylie Jenner, Reality TV Star and the World's Youngest Billionaire has filed over 200 trademark applications in her lifetime.Let's use her most recent attempt to register the phrase, “RIIISE AND SHIIINNEE” after posting a video while singing “Rise and Shine” to her daughter, Stormi, as an example of how likelihood of confusion works.
The applied-for mark was: RIIISE AND SHIIINNEE (in standard characters) for Class 025 to sell “Belts; Bottoms as clothing; Coats; Dresses; Footwear; Gloves; Headbands; Headwear; Jackets; Loungewear; Scarves; Sleepwear; Socks; Swimwear; Tops as clothing; Undergarments.”
The USPTO's examining attorney conducted a search of the federal database to determine if there were any registered marks or pending application that were confusingly similar in appearance, sound, meaning or overall commercial impression selling or intending to sell related goods or services. The examiner cited the following registration for- 2(d) likelihood of confusion: U.S. Registration No. 2549750 RISE ‘N SHINE (in standard characters) for Class 003 selling “Perfumes, body oils, room fragrances, essential oils, shampoos, hair conditioners, body soaps and body powders.”
The BIG TAKEAWAY here is that goods and/or services need not be identical to find a likelihood of confusion. Even though the identified goods and services listed are in different categories, they “are presumed to travel in the same channels of trade to the same class of purchasers” (TMEP 1207.01(a)(i)). The USPTO found that clothing and clothing accessory goods are commonly sold alongside registrant’s perfumes, fragrances, hair products, and body products. These goods are commonly provided by the same entity under the same mark to the same consumers through the same trade channels.
Donald Trump, the only billionaire president in American history, tried to trademark his famous catchphrase from The Apprentice. The applied-for mark was: "You're Fired" (in standard characters) for Class 028 to sell toys and casino games. The USPTO examiner cited the following registration for 2(d)- likelihood of confusion: U.S. Registration No. 2549750 "You're Hired," (in standard characters) for Class 028 selling educational board games.
The BIG TAKEAWAY here is that that likelihood of confusion is not whether the marks can be distinguished when subjected to a side‑by‑side comparison. The issue is whether the marks create the same overall commercial impression. The focus is on the recollection of the average purchaser who normally retains a general rather than specific impression of trademarks.