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First Reporting of Scholarship Points News to Seek Trademark
On Friday, November 23rd, 2012, we reported that information culled from the U.S. Patent & Trademark office suggested that the ScholarshipsPoints offered or promoted by ScholarshipsPoints.Com was not too dissimilar from gambling, and that the term ScholarshipsPoints/scholarshipsps simply did not merit registration or protection by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
We reported that on August 15th, 2012, ScholarshipsPoints.Com officially sought to register the term scholarshippoints/ScholarshipPoints with the U.S. Trademark/Service office despite evidence that the term “scholarshippoints” has no real value, and is merely describing a service.
Legal Admissions by Scholarship Points Authorities
We also reported that ScholarshipPoints.Com alluded to the fact that the phrases “scholarshippoints”,”ScholarshipPoints”, “Scholarshippoints”, “Scholarship Points”, are not the exclusive property of ScholarshipPoints.Com. In other words, any person,group, or organization can use the phrases “scholarshippoints”,”ScholarshipPoints”, “Scholarshippoints”, “Scholarship Points”, and not be in violation of the U.S. Trademark Act, or violate the intellectual property rights of ScholarshipsPoints.Com because ScholarshipsPoints.Com has no legal standing to assert exclusive legal ownership of the mark scholarshippoints/ScholarshipPoints/Scholarshippoints, or any variation of the term scholarship points.
FaceBook Popularity of Scholarship Points
Certainly, and understandably, Scholarshippoints.com may feel that it massive Facebook following of nearly 300,000 person and its more than 55.000 Twitter followers, and the thousands of students who seek to accumulate scholarship points, should account for something. Despite these seemingly impressive statistics, there is no correlation to value or validity of the phrase of scholarship points with respect to suitability of trademark registration.
Why the Feds Rejected Lottery-Style System of Scholarship Points
On December 19th, 2012, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office delivered the first salvo, and confirmation of our warnings. the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office correctly concluded and matter-of-fact announced that “Registration is refused because the applied-for mark (scholarshippoints) merely describes a feature of applicant’s goods and/or services.” In rejecting the label scholarshippoints, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office cited a reference to the Trademark Act Section 2(e)(1), 15 U.S.C. §1052(e)(1); see TMEP §§1209.01(b), 1209.03 et seq.
Similar Legal Cases of Scholarship Points
The phrase “Scholarship Points” is merely descriptive because it describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose or use of the specified goods and/or services. TMEP §1209.01(b); see In re Steelbuilding.com, 415 F.3d 1293, 1297, 75 USPQ2d 1420, 1421 (Fed. Cir. 2005); In re Gyulay, 820 F.2d 1216, 1217-18, 3 USPQ2d 1009, 1010 (Fed. Cir. 1987). Moreover, because the phrase “Scholarship Points” identifies a group of users (i.e., students) to whom an applicant directs its goods and/or services is also merely descriptive. TMEP §1209.03(i); see In re Planalytics, Inc., 70 USPQ2d 1453, 1454 (TTAB 2004).
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office further put its foot down on the suspicious trademark application of ScholarshipPoints.Com by stating “Applicant (ScholarshipPoints.Com) has applied to register the proposed mark SCHOLARSHIPPOINTS for arranging and conducting an educational incentive reward program that encourages participants to accrue virtual currency earned through social gaming which can be redeemed for a chance of payment of educational expenses; promoting the goods and services of others.
Social Gaming of Scholarship Points Doomed Trademark Application
Social gaming for scholarships by Scholarships.Com is completely, and totally contrary to the traditional definition and method of the funding of a scholarship: “A scholarship is an amount of money donated to a person for education and study purposes”, writes the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
So-called “scholarships” by ScholarshipsPoints, Scholarships.Com, and several other organizations that use gaming, methods of chance, or gambling methods to distribute funds or select scholarship winners are not really “Scholarships”; such funds are really more similar to gambling proceeds that are pocketed by the currency of “scholarship points.”
Scholarship Points is still a viable method of Financial-Aid
The decision to reject the baseless, and ill-advised trademark application of Scholarship Points is not at all surprising, but was really expected. In fact, we predicted that the trademark application submitted by Scholarship Points would face heavy headwind. The only debate was how much money the trademark attorney who filed the suspicious scholarshippoints trademark application pocketed, and why this attorney did not first consult this Publisher for advice.
The rejection of the “scholarshippoints” trademark application is constructive legal notice of the fact that: a.) the use of the term Scholarship Points is acceptable by any person, organization, or company; b.) ScholarshipPoints.Com DOES NOT have exclusive use of any of the phrases “scholarshippoints”,”ScholarshipPoints”, “Scholarshippoints”, “Scholarship Points”.
For more information about scholarship points, please refer to the following links below.
Scholarship Points Articles Disclaimer
Note: This Scholarship Points article is copy-right protected, and is written exclusively for fans and followers of National Academy of American Scholars, and for the members of Scholarship Club of America. You may link to this article. Any attempts to copy the contents thereof, or use the contents without full attribution to National Academy of American Scholars is a crime.