March 23, 2007

In the wake of 17 oppositions, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. decided to withdraw its U.S. trademark application for EDLP (“everyday low prices”) from further consideration and review. As discussed in the Progressive Grocer article (link below), Wal-Mart filed for protection of the acronym in July of 2005 and “maintained that its use of the pricing strategy for most of its history entitled it to exclusive control of the acronym.” However, a number organizations, including Safeway, Inc., Publix Super Markets, Inc., and the National Association of Convenience Stores (to name a few) filed oppositions with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office against the potential registration of the mark. The abandonment was made final on Wednesday after an inter partes decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). I note that Wal-Mart’s website currently uses “Always Low Prices!” in its website title, and that in the product description for the book “The Wal-Mart Way: The Inside Story of the Success of the World's Largest Company” available on the walmart.com website states that “[i]t was more than "Everyday Low Prices" and distribution that catapulted the company to the top.”

Progressive Grocer Article: LINK
U.S. Trademark Application Serial No. 78664208 (Abandoned): LINK
TTAB Summary for U.S. Trademark Application Serial No. 78664208: LINK
“The Wal-Mart Way” Book: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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