Honda Opposes Microsoft TTAB Application, Citing Video Game Licensing Agreement

On Monday Honda Motor Co., Ltd. filed an opposition before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board against Microsoft’s application to register the trademark POWER YOUR DREAMS, alleging that it will dilute Honda’s THE POWER OF DREAMS mark. They claimed registration of  trademark could cause consumers to create a connection between the entities consequently, especially considering an agreement to allow the mark to appear in a Microsoft video game. Honda has sought relief from the application and potential registration of the mark.

Honda Motor through its subsidiary American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (AHM) is the exclusive distributor of Honda and Acura branded products and is associated with the mark THE POWER OF DREAMS, registered in 2010 for Class 7 power equipment, including lawnmowers, generators and Class 12 “motor vehicles, namely, automobiles, sports utility vehicles, (and) trucks.” 

Honda noted that besides the HONDA mark, THE POWER OF DREAMS “is the brand most identified with Opposer’s company.” This slogan “appears in virtually all of Opposer’s television and print advertisements, on billboards and sponsorship materials, on the back of virtually every product manual, and on Honda’s websites.” Honda claimed that it has been using THE POWER OF DREAMS as its primary company slogan since November 2001. Consequently, Honda argued that it “has developed extensive common law rights in the slogan as a source identifier of reliable and high quality goods and services.” Honda argued that THE POWER OF DREAMS mark is distinctive and has become well known and recognizable.

Microsoft filed an application for the mark POWER YOUR DREAMS in Class 28 for video game consoles and controllers. Honda noted that it and Microsoft already have a licensing agreement for Honda’s mark, allowing Honda’s mark to appear in one of Microsoft’s products. Subsequently, Honda averred that “in light of this present relationship between the parties, Applicant’s use of the POWER YOUR DREAMS mark is likely to call to mind Opposer’s mark THE POWER OF DREAMS.”

Furthermore, Honda proffered that Microsoft’s mark “closely resembles” Honda’s mark and is “likely to cause dilution by blurring of the distinctive quality” of Honda’s mark. As a result, Honda claimed that it will be damaged by the registration of Microsoft’s application because it will purportedly dilute its own mark and it “will give color of exclusive statutory right to Applicant in violation and derogation of the prior and superior rights of Opposer.”

Honda, represented by Pryor Cushman LLP, has asked the Board to sustain its opposition and to grant other relief as determined by the Board.