‘Stratus’ Trademark Ruling on Confusion With ‘Strata’ Upheld

Written April 21, 2020

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on April 14, 2020, affirmed a Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) ruling that denied registration of Stratus Networks Inc.’s trademark on the grounds of a likelihood of confusion with a trademark registered to UBTA-UBET Communications, Inc. Stratus Networks, Inc. v. UBTA-UBET Communications Inc., Fed. Cir., No. 19-1351, Opinion 4/14/20.

UBTA, a telecommunications provider, successfully opposed Stratus’ 2012 application for its logo, believing it would create confusion with their own “Strata” brand.

On appeal, Stratus, which offers voice and data services, argued the two logos coexisted for more than six years without confusion and sought to convince the court the TTAB had to weigh that factor heavily in its analysis.

The Federal Circuit said the board considered all required factors and sufficiently explained its ruling that the designs would likely confuse consumers, despite a lack of actual consumer confusion.