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01/12/2021

Court Shoots Down QuikTrip's Opposition to Weigel's Kitchen Brand

Logos for QuikTrip and Weigel's

TULSA, Okla. — QuikTrip Corp. lost another legal attempt to block Weigel Stores Inc.'s registered design for its kitchen brand, W Weigel's Kitchen Now Open.

On Jan. 8, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a decision of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) dismissing QuikTrip's opposition to Weigel's registration of the mark on the ground that there was not likelihood of confusion with QuikTrip's registered design mark, QT Kitchens, reported IRWatchdog.com.

According to the intellectual property website, Tulsa-based QuikTrip has been using the registered mark QT Kitchens in 2011. Powell, Tenn.-based Weigel's debuted W Kitchens in 2014, but modified the brand to W Weigel's Kitchen Now Open after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from QuikTrip.

In 2017, Weigel applied to register the mark W Weigel's Kitchen Now Open and QuikTrip filed an opposition, "asserting that it would create a likelihood of confusion with its QT Kitchens mark."

The TTAB evaluated the likelihood of confusion between the two and found that "the parties' identical-in-part goods and related services, overlapping trade channels, overlapping classes of customers, and similar conditions of purchase pointed to a likelihood of confusion finding."

However, it also found that "the dissimilarity of the marks weighed against a likelihood of confusion," the word "Kitchen(s)" was "at least highly suggestive, if not descriptive," and Weigel did not act in bad faith. The TTAB found that despite several factors weighing in favor of a likelihood of confusion, the marks were so dissimilar that there would not be a likelihood of confusion, according to IPWatchdog.com.

QuikTrip subsequently challenged the TTAB's findings.