Snack Maker Asks PTO to Cancel Trademark for Processed Nuts Containing “Rockin’ Ranch” Phrase

Biena, LLC petitioned the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board last week, asking it to cancel Texas Star Nut and Food Company, Inc.’s (Texas Star) “ROCKIN’ RANCH CASHEWS” registered trademark. Biena argued that because Texas Star allegedly no longer uses the mark and does not intend to in the future, the PTO should cancel it, so that Biena can move forward with the registration of its proposed “ROCKIN’ RANCH” trademark, to be used in connection with a variety of snack products Biena makes and sells.

The petition for cancellation stated that Texas Star is a Texas corporation that registered its ROCKIN’ RANCH CASHEWS mark on Mar. 28, 2017. Texas Star’s registration covers processed nuts, in particular, cashews. Based on Biena’s investigation of Texas Star, its sub-brand, and one of its distributor’s websites, it claimed that Texas Star has ceased use of the mark and does not intend to resume use of it in the future.

The filing stated that Biena is a Massachusetts limited liability company and the owner of the pending mark ROCKIN’ RANCH, filed with the PTO on Jan. 3, 2020. Biena seeks to register the trademark for two international classes of goods, including chickpea, vegetable, potato, and tofu-based snack foods; dried fruit-based snacks; potato puffs; and cereal, wheat, corn, granola, quinoa and grain-based snack foods.

According to the filing, an official PTO action on Mar. 24 precluded Biena from registering its proposed trademark based on confusion with the extant ROCKIN’ RANCH CASHEWS mark. Thus, the petition argued, Biena is damaged by the mark’s continued registration. The harm suffered therefrom, it further asserted, is sufficient to confer standing to bring the instant petition. The filing lists one count against Texas Star, abandonment, and asks the PTO to cancel the ROCKIN’ RANCH CASHEWS mark in its entirety.

Biena is represented by Amin Talati Wasserman, LLP.