TMEP 807.12(a)(i): Role of Punctuation in Determining Whether Mark on Drawing Agrees with Mark on Specimen

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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807.12(a)(i)    Role of Punctuation in Determining Whether Mark on Drawing Agrees with Mark on Specimen

In assessing discrepancies in punctuation between the mark on the drawing and the mark shown on the specimen, the general rules are that:

  • (1) Extraneous, non-distinctive punctuation that appears on the specimen may be omitted from the mark on the drawing, because an acceptable specimen may contain additional matter used with the mark on the drawing, so long as the mark on the drawing makes a separate and distinct commercial impression apart from the other matter. See TMEP §807.12(d) and cases cited therein regarding “mutilation” of the mark.
  • (2) Punctuation in the mark on the drawing must also appear on the specimen because a mark sought to be registered under §1 must be “used in commerce,” and if the punctuation on the drawing does not appear on the specimen, the mark on the drawing is not used in commerce.

See TMEP §1215.08(c) regarding the addition or deletion of a “.” in marks for domain name registry or registration services.