TMEP 1202.03(f)(i): Slogans or Words Used on the Goods

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1202.03(f)(i)    Slogans or Words Used on the Goods

Slogans or phrases used on items such as t-shirts and sweatshirts, jewelry, and ceramic plates have been refused registration as ornamentation that purchasers will perceive as conveying a message rather than indicating the source of the goods. See D.C. One Wholesaler, Inc. v. Chien, 120 USPQ2d 1710, 1716 (TTAB 2016) (finding that customers purchase products with the phrase I ♥ DC specifically because they are ornamented with the phrase in an informational manner and that, given the phrase’s "significance as an expression of enthusiasm, it does not create the commercial impression of a source indicator, even when displayed on a hangtag or label"); In re Hulting, 107 USPQ2d 1175, 1181 (TTAB 2013) (finding that proposed mark NO MORE RINOS! conveys a political slogan devoid of source-identifying significance); In re Pro-Line Corp., 28 USPQ2d 1141 (TTAB 1993) (BLACKER THE COLLEGE SWEETER THE KNOWLEDGE primarily ornamental slogan that is not likely to be perceived as source indicator); In re Dimitri’s Inc., 9 USPQ2d 1666 (TTAB 1988) (SUMO, as used in connection with stylized representations of sumo wrestlers on applicant’s T-shirts and baseball-style caps, serves merely as an ornamental feature of applicant's goods); In re Original Red Plate Co., 223 USPQ 836 (TTAB 1984) (YOU ARE SPECIAL TODAY for ceramic plates found to be without any source-indicating significance); In re Astro-Gods Inc., 223 USPQ 621, 624 (TTAB 1984) ("[T]he designation ‘ASTRO GODS’ and design is not likely to be perceived as anything other than part of the thematic whole of the ornamentation of applicant’s shirts."); Damn I’m Good Inc. v. Sakowitz, Inc., 514 F. Supp. 1357, 212 USPQ 684 (S.D.N.Y. 1981) (DAMN I’M GOOD, inscribed in large letters on bracelets and used on hang tags affixed to the goods, found to be without any source-indicating significance).

See also TMEP §1202.04 regarding informational matter.