CEDIA Announces Win in “Electronic Lifestyles” Trademark Battle Against Bose

After years of litigation, CEDIA announced it won its battle with Bose for the right to keep its Electronic Lifestyles trademark. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office ruled that “Bose’s accusations of fraud, abandonment and likelihood of confusion had no merit, and that Bose was guilty of laches, or unreasonable delay in bringing its claims against CEDIA,” reported the trade association.

In November 2003, Bose, which then and now markets a line of products under the “Lifestyle” name, filed suit in the United States Patent and Trademark Office to cancel CEDIA’s four federal trademark registrations for “Electronic Lifestyles,” which CEDIA says it has promoted in association with various products, services and events since 1997. Since Bose filed its suit, CEDIA has stepped up its use of the term, as evidenced by its Electronic Lifestyles Awards, Electronic Lifestyles Magazine and last month’s Electronic Lifestyles EXPO.

Bose had argued that CEDIA’s use of the term caused confusion about its own products. The crux of CEDIA’s argument against Bose—a logical one, at that—was that it had never offered physical products such as, a la Bose, loudspeakers using the name, so Bose’s suit had no merit.

All told, CEDIA said it and its membership spent more than $750,000 fighting Bose’s suit.

“This is an important day for CEDIA because we have successfully defended the right to use our trademark unencumbered,” said CEDIA Executive Director Don Gilpin. “Electronic Lifestyles is a spectacular asset that CEDIA has spent countless man-hours and significant dollars building. We will immediately expand the use of Electronic Lifestyles to continue creating new alliances and forging major inroads with the architecture, building and interior design communities.”

Ray Lepper served as CEDIA president when the suit was originally brought, calling it at the time “ludicrous” and “very disturbing” in light of Bose’s own CEDIA membership, which continues to this day. “Now that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board has ruled, I believe it’s time to put the legal issues behind us,” he said in light of CEDIA’s victory. “CEDIA members have spent an enormous amount of money on a lawsuit that we always believed was unjust. We look forward to receiving an apology from Bose—in whatever form it might take.”

Joe Paone is director of content for CTPG. jpaone@napco.com
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