TMEP 1202.14: Holograms

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1202.14    Holograms

A hologram used in varying forms does not function as a mark in the absence of evidence that consumers would perceive it as a trademark. See In re Upper Deck Co., 59 USPQ2d 1688, 1692-93 (TTAB 2001), where the Board held that a hologram used on trading cards in varying shapes, sizes, and positions did not function as a mark, because the record showed that other companies used holograms on trading cards and other products as anti-counterfeiting devices, and there was no evidence that the public would perceive applicant’s hologram as an indicator of source. The Board noted that “the common use of holograms for non-trademark purposes means that consumers would be less likely to perceive applicant’s uses of holograms as trademarks.” 59 USPQ2d at 1693.

Therefore, in the absence of evidence of consumer recognition as a mark, the examining attorney should refuse registration on the ground that the hologram does not function as a mark, under §§1, 2, and 45 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §§1051, 1052, and 1127.

Generally, if a hologram has two or more views, the examining attorney should also refuse registration under §§1 and 45 of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §§1051 and 1127, on the ground that the application seeks registration of more than one mark. In re Upper Deck, 59 USPQ2d at 1690-91. See TMEP §807.01.