James Cameron has won a string of Avatar legal battles recently but it looks like The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board isn’t going to be one of them. Already turned down once, 20th Century Fox was again refused its request to register the “Pandorapedia” name as a trademark on a planned Avatar-related clothing line of tagged T-shirts, PJs and more. The TTAB denied the studio’s appeal on the trademark earlier this month, saying it was too close to the trademark already used by Pandora Sportswear Corp. “We find that the marks PANDORA and PANDORAPEDIA are similar and thus…favors a finding of likelihood of confusion,” said the TTAB in its 8-page opinion (read it here). The opinion was sent out to Fox on November 8.
No word if Fox will try a new name or new trademark tact soon but one thing is for sure: If the registration had been approved, there would have been a lot of Avatar gear out there. Looking toward the upcoming trio of Avatar sequels, Fox’s Pandorapedia line was set to include “shirts; pants; shorts; underwear; boxer shorts; hats; caps; sweatshirts; sweaters; skirts; gloves; socks; shoes; boots; coats; jackets; swimwear; belts; scarves; pajamas; slippers; infant wear; hosiery; Halloween and masquerade costumes and masks,” according to its initial application. The studio’s addition of the “pedia” suffix wasn’t enough to avoid that confusion in the marketplace for the TTAB, nor was the fact that Pandorapedia line would be more than sports-related clothes. Neither interestingly was its implied relationship to the multibillion-dollar grossing Avatar and the planet of Pandora on which most of the 2009 pic takes place. “Applicant has specifically restricted its goods to clothing ‘related to motion picture films,” the TTAB’s opinion says. “However, the clothing identified in the cited registration is not limited in any way. We therefore must presume that the clothing in the cited registration encompasses all goods of the nature and type identified, including ‘clothing related to motion pictures.’ ”
Fox was represented by Jamie Platkin, Michelle Ciotola, and Curt Krechevsky of intellectual property law firm Cantor Colburn LLP.