1204.04(b) Deletion of §2(b) Matter
Section 1 Applications. The deletion of the unregistrable §2(b) matter, which no party can have trademark rights in, will not be considered a material alteration if the matter is separable from the other elements in the mark, e.g., if the flag design is spatially separated from other matter in the mark or is used as a background for other words or designs. If the flag is deleted from the drawing, the specimen that shows the flag is still acceptable. The examining attorney must ensure that the design search codes are corrected whenever a change is made to the drawing.
No deletion is allowed if the flag design is integrated into the overall mark in such a way that deletion would significantly change the commercial impression of the mark.
An amendment to the drawing showing the outline of the flag design absent the interior material is not permitted. Amending the mark from a national, state, or municipal flag to a blank flag changes the commercial impression of how the mark is used, or intended to be used, in commerce.
Section 44 Applications. Amendments to the drawing to delete §2(b) matter are not permitted because the drawing must be a substantially exact representation of the mark as registered in the foreign country. TMEP §1011.01.
Section 66(a) Applications. Amendments to the drawing to delete the §2(b) matter are not permitted because the Madrid Protocol does not permit the amendment of a mark in an international registration. TMEP §807.13(b).