Guild Mortgage Gets Another Shot at Trademark Registration

Written January 22, 2019

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on January 14, 2019, vacated and remanded the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s decision to deny registration of the mark “GUILD MORTGAGE COMPANY” and its design based on likelihood of confusion with the registered mark “GUILD INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT.” In re Guild Mortg. Co., Fed. Cir., No. 2017-2620, 1/14/19.

Guild Mortgage applied for trademark registration of its mark, but the trademark examiner refused their application, concluding that there was a likelihood of confusion between the two marks because of the similarity between the nature of their services and their trade channels. In response to the examiner’s refusal, Guild Mortgage argued that it and the registrant coexisted in business for over 40 years without any evidence of actual confusion; however, the TTAB’s opinion affirming the refusal doesn’t make clear the argument was considered. Because the TTAB failed to consider the relevant argument, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded for further proceedings.