Opposer Salesforce.com Inc. filed a notice of opposition before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) on Monday against the application of Trust Force by applicant Trustforce LLC, doing business as Trustforce, claiming that the similarity will likely cause consumer confusion and dilute Salesforce’s Marks.
Salesforce asserted that it was founded in 1999, when it launched its website; through the website, Salesforce has “offered and continues to offer its comprehensive online business software applications and related services.” Salesforce asserted that its brand is highly recognized and that its Salesforce mark “has become ‘a famous mark that is well known in the software and business industry.” Salesforce noted that it “has adopted and uses a family of marks consisting of or featuring the suffix ‘FORCE’ (collectively and each of them individually, the ‘FORCE Family of Marks’).”
Moreover, Salesforce proffered that the marks “typically combine a suggestive or descriptive term, often a business-themed word or initialism, with the distinctive suffix ‘FORCE’ to create a unitary mark.” Salesforce added that the Force Family of Marks is used with the opposer’s enterprise software, software solutions, and other services, which have garnered goodwill and consumer recognition. Reportedly, the marks in the Force Family of Marks are composed and used in a way that consumers “associate() not only the individual FORCE and FORCE-formative marks with Salesforce, but also associate() the distinctive common characteristic of the family of marks, namely, the standalone term or suffix ‘FORCE’ with Salesforce.” Additionally, Salesforce’s Marks are registered in some of the same classes in which the applicant seeks to register its marks. Salesforce added that its Force Family of Marks predate that of the applicant.
Salesforce averred that the applicant’s mark should not be registered because of a likelihood of confusion and dilution. Salesforce stated that the Trust Force Mark “is similar in sight, sound, and meaning to Salesforce’s FORCE Family of Marks,” adding that the term Force is the second word of the phrase. Thus, according to the opposer, the applicant’s mark sounds like “a member of Salesforce’s FORCE Family of Marks.” Moreover, Salesforce claimed that the use of the term “Force” in the applicant’s Trust Force mark, purportedly so closely resembles the marks in Salesforce’s Force Family of Marks that it will likely cause consumer confusion, mistake, or deception regarding the source or origin, and consumers are also likely to create a false association or connection between them. These goods and services are also purportedly offered in similar channels of trade to similar customers. Furthermore, Salesforce asserted that the similarities between the Trust Force Mark and the Force Family of Marks is likely to dilute the distinctive quality of Salesforce’s Force Family of Marks.
Salesforce seeks for its opposition to be sustained and for the applicant’s registration to be refused.
Salesforce is represented by Owen, Wickersham & Erickson P.C.