TMEP 1203.02(e)(i): When the Mark is Clearly Misdescriptive

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1203.02(e)(i)    When the Mark is Clearly Misdescriptive

If there is evidence in the record clearly indicating that the mark or a term(s) in the mark is misdescriptive (e.g., the specimen or language in the identification indicates that the goods/services do not have the relevant feature or characteristic), the examining attorney must determine whether the misdescription is believable and material and do the following:

  • If the misdescription would not be believable, no refusal under either §2(a) or §2(e)(1) should be made. If the application is otherwise in condition for publication, approve the mark for publication. Otherwise, issue an Office action containing all other relevant refusals and/or requirements.
  • If the misdescription would be believable, but would not be material, issue a refusal under §2(e)(1) as deceptively misdescriptive (or disclaimer requirement if appropriate, i.e., if the term at issue is not part of a unitary expression), with supporting evidence, and all other relevant refusals and/or requirements.
  • If the misdescription would be believable and material, issue a deceptiveness refusal under §2(a) with supporting evidence, an alternative refusal under §2(e)(1) as deceptively misdescriptive (or disclaimer requirement if appropriate), and all other relevant refusals and/or requirements.