The News & Observer reports that the New York State Department of Economic Development's opposition to the registration of "I ♥ NC" was recently dismissed by the Patent and Trademark Office. NYSDED opposed stating that the I ♥ NC mark is likely to cause confusion with its I ♥ NY mark. Unfortunately for NYSDED, it didn't properly introduce into the record its priority of use of the I ♥ NY mark.
The TTAB stated that there are two aspects to a likelihood of confusion claim: priority and likelihood of confusion. The TTAB didn't get to the issue of likelihood of confusion because NYSDED failed to prove that it has made use of any trademarks and thus it cannot show priority of use.
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