TMEP 1202.19(e)(ii): Statutory Basis for Refusal

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1202.19(e)(ii)    Statutory Basis for Refusal

When the applicant has sought registration of a repeating-pattern mark on the Principal Register without claiming acquired distinctiveness, and the examining attorney determines that the mark is not inherently distinctive, registration must be refused on the ground that the mark fails to function as a source indicator, citing Trademark Act §§1, 2, and 45 for trademarks, and §§1, 2, 3, and 45 for service marks. See 15 U.S.C. §§1051, 1052, 1053, 1127. The examining attorney must explain the specific reasons for the refusal and provide relevant supporting evidence. See TMEP §1202. The stated reason for refusal will usually be that the applied-for mark is merely ornamental as used on or in connection with the goods or services. However, in some instances, the applied-for repeating-pattern mark may be simply nondistinctive, serving neither an ornamental nor a source-indicating purpose. In either case, the same statutory bases apply.

If registration is sought on the Supplemental Register, but the examining attorney determines that the mark is incapable of serving as a source indicator, registration must be refused on that ground under Trademark Act §§23 and 45. 15 U.S.C. §§1091, 1127.