Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the sewers. New Line, the movie studio behind IT, has been in a battle with a muscle supplement powder called Pennywise, but this hulking clown has disappeared from the fight.
What's scarier than Pennywise the Clown of It fame? How about one the size of the Rock. In August 2018, just before the release of the new IT movie, Retail Exclusive Distribution, Inc. filed a trademark registration application for PENNYWISE to cover dietary supplements and powders. The "Pennywise" is a pre-workout carb blast that gets you all hyped up to lift some weights. Yeeeah! The powder is still on the market, no spoiling anything or even the ending of the new movie.
New Line, the movie production company behind the movies, opposed the trademark claiming that consumers, when they see the muscle juice powder that can be seen above, will immediately associate it with the Stephen King clown and the PENNYWISE trademark. Fair to say that most people would.
When faced with a trademark opposition, a registrant has a few choices. It can fight for the registration and have a mini-lawsuit at the TTAB, it can walk away from the registration, or it can reach a settlement with the other side. Here, the applicant went with option four, doing nothing. Never the right choice. Retail Exclusive chose not to respond to the opposition and has defaulted. By their default, the trademark registration is essentially abandoned. This final abandonment will come with a final order from the TTAB but I don't see Pennywise making a last second resurrection.
Some important lessons here, if you are going to file a trademark, do a clearance to make sure there is no one else using the mark and, if so, be ready to fight if you want to push the mark forward.