TMEP 1202.17(e)(vi): Universal Prohibition Symbol

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1202.17(e)(vi)    Universal Prohibition Symbol

Description: universal prohibion symbol

The universal prohibition symbol, which usually appears superimposed over another image or wording, is a visual representation of "no," "not," or "prohibited." See, e.g., Free, Prohibition Signs, (accessed Aug. 24, 2012). When the prohibition symbol is superimposed over other matter, the design as a whole is unitary; thus, no disclaimer of the prohibition symbol apart from the other matter is necessary. However, the examining attorney must consider whether evidence supports the conclusion that the design as a whole (i.e., the symbol and the image it is superimposed over) fails to function as a mark or is merely descriptive (or both) and thus must be refused or disclaimed.