Target Files TTAB Opposition to Bullseye Design Trademark Application

On Monday, Target Brands, Inc. filed an opposition to an e-payment company’s application to register a bullseye design trademark similar to Target’s iconic triple ring bullseye emblem. If the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board approves the trademark request from Squire Solutions Inc., the opposer alleged that it will suffer harm because of the likelihood of confusion the trademark poses with its own.

Target Brands’ filing stated that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Target Corporation, and licenses its “Bullseye Design” mark to Target for use. Its business operations include, among other things, a “chain of retail department stores, now numbering more than 1,800 stores across the country.” Its brick-and-mortar retail shops sell a vast variety of goods and services to the general public. The company also offers online shopping through its website.  

The Target trademark has reportedly been used since the 1960s in connection with its retail operations and more recently its web-based offerings. Through extensive use and promotion of the Bullseye Design mark, it has supposedly accrued “substantial and valuable goodwill and public recognition,” the opposition explains. By way of example, the opposition pointed to an Advertising Age article categorizing the Bullseye Design mark as “‘an advertising icon in a class with … McDonald’s arches and Nike’s swoosh.’”

The mark’s registrations cover a range of uses, including financial services, online retail store services, prepaid in-store use cards, downloadable software including store-related applications, electronic payment services, and website and entertainment services.

According to the filing, SSI, a New York-based, Delaware-incorporated company, filed its application on Apr. 14. It seeks to use the proposed mark in connection with downloadable software facilitating commercial transactions for processing, facilitating, and verifying consumer mobile device payments, and with an electronic financial platform enabling users to transfer money, among other uses.

Target argued that “the mark claimed in Applicant’s Subject Application so resembles (the company’s) Bullseye Design marks as to be likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, and/or to deceive.” In turn, it asked the reviewing board to reject the application. 

Target Brands, Inc. is represented by Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.