AMTA Call to Action: Trigger Point

AMTA Action to Protect Use of the Term “Triggerpoint”

In March 2017, AMTA became aware of a pending application to register the generic term TRIGGERPOINT with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). The application was filed by Implus Footcare, LLC (parent company of Trigger Point Performance, Inc.) for massage rollers, DVDs and books in the field of “fitness.”

Although the USPTO three times rejected Implus Footcare’s attempts to gain exclusive rights to the term, based on the fact that the mark is “highly descriptive,” Implus Footcare presented arguments claiming that the mark was not highly descriptive and requested reconsideration of the application. The USPTO eventually approved Implus Footcare’s application for publication (the final stage before a certificate is issued and a trademark becomes registered).

AMTA filed a formal action against the trademark application before the term was registered, knowing that educators, writers and massage therapists would have an interest in an exclusive trademark registration for the term “trigger point” in books and DVDs. Subsequent information by Implus Footcare made it clear that approval of their application could also potentially limit the use of the term “trigger point” by others in the industry who might publish information using the term “trigger point.”

If AMTA does not take action, Implus Footcare could blanket the profession with cease and desist letters and even litigation. Every instructor, school, therapist, health care professional, or association who uses the term “trigger point” in the title or text of a book, DVD, app, other publication, educational product, or class might be subject to statutory damages for use of the term “trigger point” if they did not first obtain permission from Implus Footcare to use the term.

AMTA has actively opposed the filing and will continue to do so to protect everyone in the massage therapy industry from this potential restriction of a generic term. AMTA is the only national association in the profession that is defending the right of therapists, teachers and others to continue to use the term “trigger point” freely and without restriction.

Thanks for Making Your Voice Heard

Thank you to the 13,000 people who signed our petition to support AMTA in the fight against restrictions on your right to the free use of the term “trigger point”!

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