TMEP 1209.03(p): Function or Purpose

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1209.03(p)    Function or Purpose

Terms that identify the function or purpose of a product or service may be merely descriptive under 15 U.S.C. §1052(e)(1)  or generic. See, e.g., In re Gould Paper Corp., 834 F.2d 1017, 5 USPQ2d 1110 (Fed. Cir. 1987) (SCREENWIPE held generic for an anti-static cloth used for cleaning computer and television screens); In re Box Solutions Corp., 79 USPQ2d 1953 (TTAB 2006) (SOLUTIONS merely descriptive of the purpose of applicant’s computer hardware – to resolve a problem – and must be disclaimed); In re Hunter Fan Co., 78 USPQ2d 1474 (TTAB 2006) (ERGONOMIC held merely descriptive of ceiling fans); In re Cent. Sprinkler Co., 49 USPQ2d 1194 (TTAB 1998) (ATTIC generic for sprinklers installed primarily in attics); In re Reckitt & Colman, N. Am. Inc., 18 USPQ2d 1389 (TTAB 1991) (PERMA PRESS generic for soil and stain removers for use on permanent press products); In re Wallyball, Inc., 222 USPQ 87 (TTAB 1984) (WALLYBALL held descriptive of sports clothing and game equipment); In re Nat’l Presto Indus., Inc.,197 USPQ 188 (TTAB 1977) (BURGER held merely descriptive of cooking utensils); In re Orleans Wines, Ltd., 196 USPQ 516 (TTAB 1977) (BREADSPRED held merely descriptive of jams and jellies).