Pueblo Chile Grower’s Association (the “Grower’s Association”) filed for a certification mark to cover Pueblo Chile grown in Pueblo Colorado for fresh chiles. The mark is:
PUEBLO CHILE GROWN WITH ROCKY MOUNTAIN WATER COLORADO SUNSHINE CERTIFIED FROM PUEBLO, COLORADO PUEBLO CHILE GROWERS ASSOCIATION, PUEBLO, CO
Description: The mark consists of a painting of a farming field with trees and structures with sky and mountains in the background. The mark further consists of a rectangular border around the painting. The outlined words “PUEBLO CHILE” overlay a top portion of the picture. The words “GROWN WITH ROCKY MOUNTAIN WATER” and “COLORADO SUNSHINE” are beneath “PUEBLO CHILE”. A band overlays and appears at the bottom portion of the painting. The words “FROM PUEBLO, COLORADO” appear beneath “CERTIFIED” on the left side of the band. A bordered circle containing a bundle of chile peppers overlays the right side of the band. The words “PUEBLO CHILE GROWERS ASSOCIATION, PUEBLO, CO” overlay the bottom left portion of the border.
Certification Statement: The certification mark, as used or intended to be used by persons authorized by the certifier, certifies or is intended to certify that the goods provided have been grown in Pueblo County, Colorado.
Design Codes assigned by the USPTO: 05.11.09 – Peppers, 06.01.04 – Mountains (landscapes); Scenery with mountains, 06.09.03 – Farms, 26.01.17 – Circles, two concentric; Two concentric circles; Concentric circles, two, 26.01.21 – Circles that are totally or partially shaded. 26.11.21 – Rectangles that are completely or partially shaded.
The application was approved and registered (Reg. No. 5816418) on May 14, 2019.
Of interest are additional marks containing the phrase “Pueblo Chile” from Pueblo, Colorado:
– the Grower Association’s certification mark registration for fresh chiles.
PUEBLO CHILE GROWERS ASSOCIATION – the Grower Association’s supplemental registration for Advertising and promotional services; Association services, namely, promoting awareness of chile grown in Pueblo County Colorado to the public; Association services, namely, promoting the interests of chile growers in Pueblo County Colorado; Association services, namely, promoting public awareness of chile grown in Pueblo County Colorado; Promoting the interests of chile growers in Pueblo County Colorado by means of an association; Trade association services, namely, promoting the interests of chile growers in Pueblo County Colorado.
PUEBLO CHILE BEER – The Walter Brewing Company in Pueblo Colorado supplemental registration for Beer; Beer, ale and lager; Beer, ale, lager, stout and porter; Beer, ale, lager, stout, porter, shandy; Craft beers; Flavored beers; Malt extracts for making beer.
– Mira Sol Chile Corp. in Pueblo Colorado registration covering chile products, namely, red chile sauce, green chile sauce and salsa made with chiles. The phrase “PUEBLO CHILE” is disclaimed, meaning Mira Sol does not claim rights to the phrase alone but only in connection with the mark. Mark consists of three chile peppers wearing sunglasses in front of a sun with sombreros in their hands and a banner over the top with the words “PUEBLO CHILE” on it.
Side bar: The Grower’s Association at one point filed a Certification Mark for PUEBLO CHILE. This application was blocked by the Mira Sol trademark registration shown above.
It is this blogger’s contention that the Grower’s Association Certification Mark application was improperly compared to the trademark registration by Mira Sol for chile sauces. A Certification Mark application is used to inform purchasers about certain characteristics, qualifications or standards for a product, in this case, Pueblo Chile, whereas Mira Sol’s trademark designates the mark, Pueblo Chile and Design, as a single source for its chile sauces.
As noted in the trademark law, “[a] certification mark ‘is a special creature created for a purpose uniquely different from that of an ordinary service mark or trademark . . . .’ In re Fla. Citrus Comm’n, 160 USPQ 495, 499 (TTAB 1968). That is, the purpose of a certification mark is to inform purchasers that the goods or services of a person possess certain characteristics or meet certain qualifications or standards established by another person. A certification mark does not indicate origin in a single commercial or proprietary source the way a trademark or service mark does. Rather, the same certification mark is used on the goods or services of many different producers.” TMEP Section 1306.01(b) (emphasis added).
Thus, it is this blogger’s contention that both the Mira Sol trademark registration and the Grower’s Association certification mark could co-exist separately as each serve a different function under the trademark law and each seek to protect the PUEBLO CHILE in Pueblo, Colorado.