RDMS TMEP – Oct2012

In Dial-A-Mattress, the court held that an alphanumeric telephone number “bears closer conceptual resemblance to a phrase than a compound word.” 57 USPQ2d at 1811. The court found that 1-888-M-A-T-R-E-S-S was not generic as applied to “telephone shop-at-home retail services in the field of mattresses,” because there was no evidence of record that the public understood the term to refer to shop-at-home telephone mattress retailers. Therefore, to establish that a mnemonic telephone number is generic, the examining attorney must show that the relevant public would understand the mark as a whole to have generic significance.