John Welch questions whether you would have appealed the recent rejection of Gila River’s application for AIRIA. Local Arizona tribe and gaming enterprise Gila River has a night club named Airia, but unfortunately, there is an Area nightclub in LA that beat them to the Trademark Office punch. The Examining Attorney, upon receiving Gila River’s application for AIRIA, twice refused to register the mark in light of AREA. Gila River appealed, but the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board sided with the Examiner. It first noted that the marks were used in connection with identical services, and as such, a lesser finding of similarity in the marks themselves would be required to make a likelihood of confusion determination. The TTAB next found that the marks sounded the same, or at least could sound the same, because there is no correct or absolute pronunciation of AIRIA. The Board discounted Gila River’s argument as to the geographic separation of the LA and Phoenix clubs, since the applications themselves were not limited geographically.
I’ll keep an eye out for a possible name change for the club in the future. For what it’s worth, the name is currently advertised as AiRIA.