Generic Geographical Term ‘Midtown’ Not Protected by Mississippi Trademark Law

In February 2017, Michael Harrington opened a liquor store in Harrisburg, Mississippi, using the name “Midtown Wine & Spirits.” His certificate of formation with the Mississippi Secretary of State lists the official company name as T.M.T., LLC. He registered the company’s service mark of Midtown Wine and Spirits with the Mississippi Secretary of State more than a year later in September 2018. Four months prior to Harrington registering the Midtown Wine and Spirits service mark, Dr. Ted Harden Jr. filed a Certificate of Formation with the Mississippi Secretary of State forming “Midtown Market Wine & Spirits.” Each company had its own logos and colors. Harrington claims Harden’s use of the term “Midtown” caused customer confusion and filed a complaint to restrain Harden from using a trade name similar to Midtown Wine & Spirits. The Chancery Court found the term Midtown to be generic in use and determined it was not likely to cause confusion. The Court of Appeals of the State of Mississippi upheld the lower court’s decision. Click here to read more details on the case.