TMEP 1202.19(h): Refusals in Applications Based on Section 1(b), Section 44, or Section 66(a)

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1202.19(h)    Refusals in Applications Based on Section 1(b), Section 44, or Section 66(a)

The refusals discussed in TMEP §§1202.19(e)–(g)(ii) may also apply to applications based on Trademark Act §1(b), §44, or §66(a) if the information in the application or any other available evidence indicates that the applied-for mark fails to function as a trademark or service mark; that the identification includes goods or services that are inconsistent with the mark as depicted in the drawing; or that the application seeks registration of more than one mark. See TMEP §1202; cf. In re Right-On Co., 87 USPQ2d 1152, 1157 (TTAB 2008) (noting that, with respect to §66(a) applications, "it is appropriate for examining attorneys to issue an ornamentation refusal if the mark is decorative or ornamental on its face as depicted on the drawing page and described in the description of the mark"); TMEP §1202.02(f)(i).

For §1(b) applications, if the examining attorney anticipates issuing a failure-to-function refusal once an allegation of use is filed, the examining attorney should advise the applicant of the potential refusal if otherwise issuing an Office action. See TMEP §1202. However, failure to provide an advisory does not preclude the examining attorney from subsequently issuing a refusal. See id.

With respect to applications based on §44 or §66(a), examining attorneys must adhere to the relevant rules and procedures governing these types of applications, including those pertaining to drawing amendments and acceptable response options. See, e.g., TMEP §§801.02(b) (Supplemental Register not an option for §66(a) requests for extension of protection), 1010 (proof of acquired distinctiveness in §44-based applications), 1011.01 ("substantially exact representation standard" for drawings in §44-based applications), 1011.03 (amendment of drawings in §44-based applications), 1904.02(g) (time period for issuing a refusal of a §66(a)-based application), 1904.02(j) (amendment of marks in §66(a)-based applications), 1904.02(k) (drawings and descriptions in §66(a)-based applications).