TMEP 1215.02(c): Agreement of Mark on Drawing with Mark on Specimens of Use

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1215.02(c)    Agreement of Mark on Drawing with Mark on Specimens of Use

In viewing a domain name mark (e.g., ABC.COM or HTTP://WWW.ABC.COM), consumers generally look to the second-level domain name for source identification, not to the generic top-level domain (gTLD) or the terms "http://www." or "www." Therefore, it is usually acceptable to depict only the second-level domain name on the drawing page, even if the specimen shows a mark that includes a traditional gTLD (such as.COM) or the terms "http://www." or "www." However, if the mark depicted in the specimen includes a gTLD that serves a source-indicating function, the drawing of record must include such source-indicating gTLD. Cf. Institut Nat’l des Appellations D’Origine v. Vintners Int’l Co., 958 F.2d 1574, 22 USPQ2d 1190 (Fed. Cir. 1992) (CHABLIS WITH A TWIST held to be registrable separately from CALIFORNIA CHABLIS WITH A TWIST as shown on labels); In re Raychem Corp., 12 USPQ2d 1399 (TTAB 1989) (refusal to register TINEL-LOCK based on specimen showing "TRO6AI-TINEL-LOCK-RING" reversed). See also 37 C.F.R. §2.51(a)–(b), and TMEP §§807.12–807.12(e).

Example: The specimen shows the mark HTTP://WWW.ABC.COM. The applicant may elect to depict only the term "ABC" on the drawing.

Sometimes the specimen fails to show the entire mark sought to be registered (e.g., the drawing of the mark is HTTP://WWW.ABC.COM, but the specimen only shows ABC). If the drawing of the mark includes a gTLD, or the terms "http://www." or "www.," the specimen must also show the mark used with these terms. Trademark Act §1(a)(3)(C), 15 U.S.C. §1051(a)(3)(C).

Example: If the drawing of the mark is ABC.COM, a specimen that only shows the term ABC is unacceptable.

If, in an application in which the identification of services specifies or otherwise encompasses domain-name registry operator or registrar services, and the applied-for mark consists of or includes wording without a dot (".") before it, but the specimen provided shows use of the mark only with a "." before the wording, or vice versa, the examining attorney must refuse the specimen on the grounds that the marks do not match because the commercial impression created by the applied-for mark differs from the commercial impression created by the mark shown in the specimen. Specifically, when used in connection with domain-name registry operator or registrar services, wording immediately preceded by a "." will likely be viewed by consumers as a generic top-level domain (gTLD). On the other hand, the same wording, used in connection with the same services, but shown without the "." would not give the impression of a gTLD and could be viewed as an indicator of source, such that the commercial impression created by the marks materially differs. Thus, in this context, the "."does not constitute the type of "extraneous, nondistinctive punctuation" discussed in TMEP §807.12(a)(i) and the drawing may not be amended to add a "." to, or delete a "." from, the mark. See TMEP §1215.08(c).

Example: If the applied-for mark is TMARKIE for "domain-name registration services," a specimen that shows the mark as.TMARKIE is unacceptable.

See TMEP §§807.14–807.14(f) and 1215.08–1215.08(b) regarding material alteration.