Family-of-Marks Argument Not Available Against Likelihood of Confusion Refusal

In a recent Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) decision, the Applicant attempted to register the mark CYNERGY and in response received a section 2(d) likelihood of confusion refusal in light of a prior registration for SYNERGIE PEEL. In responding to the rejection, the Applicant argued that familiarity with its family of marks would cause consumers to pronounce the mark with a long “I”, rendering the mark sufficiently different from the cited registration. The TTAB held that a family-of-marks argument is not available in seeking to overcome a likelihood of confusion refusal. Further, the TTAB dismissed the Applicant’s remaining arguments, holding that the marks and goods are sufficiently similar and that sophisticated consumers may still be confused. In re Cynosure, Inc., Serial No. 76653359 (TTAB 2009) [precedential].