1204.01(b) Stylized Flag Designs are not Refused under §2(b)
Marks containing elements of flags in a stylized or incomplete form are not refused under §2(b). The mere presence of some significant elements of flags, such as stars and stripes (U.S. flag) or a maple leaf (Canadian flag), does not necessarily warrant a refusal.
If the flag design fits one of the following scenarios, the examining attorney should not refuse registration under §2(b):
- The flag design is used to form a letter, number, or design.
- The flag is substantially obscured by words or designs.
- The design is not in a shape normally seen in flags.
- The flag design appears in a color different from that normally used in the national flag.
- A significant feature is missing or changed.
Examples. The following are examples of stylized designs that are registrable under §2(b):
Flag Forms Another Design, Number, or Letter - No §2(b) Refusal
Flag Is Substantially Obscured By Other Matter - No §2(b) Refusal
Flag Design Is Not In the Normal Flag Shape - No §2(b) Refusal
Significant Feature of the Flag Is In a Different Color - No §2(b) Refusal
NOTE: Stripes in flag are red, white, and green.
Significant Feature Is Changed - No §2(b) Refusal