TMEP 1213.05(b)(iv): Unregistrable Unitary Phrases or Slogans

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1213.05(b)(iv)    Unregistrable Unitary Phrases or Slogans

Although the determination that a mark or portion of a mark is unitary may provide an exception to the disclaimer requirement, when an entire unitary phrase or slogan is generic, descriptive, or merely informational, it remains unregistrable. To illustrate, "common laudatory phrases or statements that would ordinarily be used in business or in the particular trade or industry" are unregistrable despite the fact that they may be unitary phrases or slogans. See In re Boston Beer Co. L.P., 198 F.3d 1370, 53 USPQ2d 1056 (Fed. Cir. 1999) (THE BEST BEER IN AMERICA for beer and ale); In re Remington Prods. Inc., 3 USPQ2d 1714 (TTAB 1987) (PROUDLY MADE IN USA for electric shavers); In re Carvel Corp., 223 USPQ 65 (TTAB 1984) (AMERICA’S FRESHEST ICE CREAM for flavored ices); In re Tilcon Warren, Inc., 221 USPQ 86 (TTAB 1984) (WATCH THAT CHILD for construction material); see also TMEP §§1209.03(s) and 1202.04. Therefore, unless a unitary phrase or slogan otherwise meets all requirements for registrability, it must be disclaimed or refused registration, as appropriate.