TMEP 1210.07(a): Registrability of Geographic Terms on the Supplemental Register

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1210.07(a)    Registrability of Geographic Terms on the Supplemental Register

Primarily Geographically Descriptive Marks. A term that is primarily geographically descriptive of the goods/services under §2(e)(2) may be registered on the Supplemental Register, if it is not barred by other section(s) of the Act. See TMEP §714.05(a)(i). However, in certain circumstances, a primarily geographically descriptive mark may be considered incapable. See In re Bee Pollen from Eng. Ltd., 219 USPQ 163 (TTAB 1983) (finding BEE POLLEN FROM ENGLAND incapable of distinguishing bee pollen from England); Mineco, Inc. v. Lone Mountain Turquoise Mine, 217 USPQ 466 (TTAB 1983) (finding LONE MOUNTAIN incapable of distinguishing turquoise from the Lone Mountain Mine).

Primarily Geographically Deceptively Misdescriptive Marks. A mark that is found to be primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive under §2(e)(3) may not be registered on the Supplemental Register unless the mark has been in lawful use in commerce since before December 8, 1993, the date of enactment of the NAFTA Implementation Act. Section 23(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1091(a). If the applicant claims use prior to December 8, 1993 and seeks registration on the Supplemental Register, or amends to the Supplemental Register, the examining attorney must refuse registration under §2(a). See TMEP §1210.05(d)(i).

Geographically Deceptive Marks. A mark that is deceptive under §2(a) may not be registered on the Supplemental Register. In re Juleigh Jeans Sportswear Inc., 24 USPQ2d 1694, 1696 (TTAB 1992).

NOTE: A mark in a §66(a) application cannot be registered on the Supplemental Register under any circumstances. 15 U.S.C. §1141h(a)(4); 37 C.F.R. §§2.47(c) and 2.75(c).