Enforcing Bridgestone’s top-selling brands
Finnegan successfully overturned a ruling against two of Bridgestone’s top-selling tire brands POTENZA and TURANZA. Bridgestone appealed a TTAB decision dismissing its opposition against Federal Corporation’s application to register the mark MILANZA for tires. In that decision, the TTAB refused to find Bridgestone’s POTENZA and TURANZA marks commercially strong because they frequently appear with the BRIDGESTONE house mark. On appeal, the Federal Circuit issued a unanimous precedential decision reversing the TTAB and finding that MILANZA is likely to be confused with POTENZA and TURANZA based on, among other things, the independent strength achieved by the POTENZA and TURANZA marks through massive sales and advertising and the similarities between POTENZA, TURANZA, and MILANZA. The Federal Circuit also held that the simultaneous use of BRIDGESTONE with POTENZA and TURANZA does not denigrate the fame and strength of those product marks.