1215.02(e) Section 1(b) Applications
A refusal of registration on the ground that the matter presented for registration does not function as a mark relates to the manner in which the asserted mark is used. Generally, in an intent-to-use application filed under §1(b) of the Trademark Act, a mark that includes a domain name will not be refused on this ground until the applicant has submitted specimen(s) of use and an allegation of use (i.e., either an amendment to allege use under 15 U.S.C. §1051(c) or a statement of use under 15 U.S.C. §1051(d)). The specimen provides a better record upon which to determine the registrability of the mark. However, the examining attorney should include an advisory note in the first Office action that registration may be refused if the proposed mark, as used on the specimen, identifies only an Internet address. This is done strictly as a courtesy. If information regarding this possible ground for refusal is not provided to the applicant prior to the filing of the allegation of use, the USPTO is not precluded from refusing registration on this basis.