TMEP 1202.17(c)(iii): Mark Includes a Universal Symbol that Fails to Function

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1202.17(c)(iii)    Mark Includes a Universal Symbol that Fails to Function

If a universal symbol fails to function as a source indicator because it is informational or conveys an informational message, and it appears along with other non-source-indicating matter, the examining attorney must issue a failure-to-function refusal. See TMEP §1202.17(c)(ii).

If a universal symbol fails to function as a source indicator because it is informational or conveys an informational message, and it appears in a non-unitary manner with other registrable matter that is arbitrary, fanciful, suggestive, or otherwise source-indicating, the examining attorney must require a disclaimer of the universal symbol. See Trademark Act Section 6(a), 15 U.S.C. §1056(a); TMEP §§12.3, 1213.01(b), 1213.02, 1213.03(a). The examining attorney should not suggest that the applicant claim acquired distinctiveness in part as to the symbol. See TMEP §1202.17(c)(ii)(B).

An applicant may also delete a purely informational universal symbol that appears along with other registrable matter, provided the symbol is separable from the other matter and the deletion does not materially alter the commercial impression of the mark. See TMEP §807.14(a).