TMEP 904.03(i)(C)(1): “Shopping Cart” and “Shopping Bag” Buttons and Links

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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904.03(i)(C)(1)    “Shopping Cart” and “Shopping Bag” Buttons and Links

Frequently used methods of ordering goods online include buttons and links identified as “shopping cart,” “shopping bag,” “add to cart,” and “buy” that permit a consumer to directly purchase the goods. See Example 3 at TMEP §904.03(i)(B)(2). The presence of these features conveys the web page’s point-of-sale character. For intangible goods, such as downloadable computer software programs, buttons and links for downloading, buying, or ordering goods should be considered sufficient ordering information. See TMEP §904.03(e).

“Where to buy” buttons and links are usually unacceptable since they typically provide only contact information for the retailers, wholesalers, or distributors of the goods instead of functioning as a means of directly ordering the goods, as shown in Example 12. See In re Osterberg, 83 USPQ2d 1220, 1224 (TTAB 2007) (finding a “Where to Buy” link insufficient ordering information since the record contained no information about what the link included and applicant’s explanation in the appeal brief indicated that the link provided consumers a list of distributors and their websites from whom goods may be purchased).

Description: Screenshot of webpage displaying a condom box.

Example 12: Web page specimen is not acceptable because, among other things, it lacks ordering information.

Mark: CONDOMTOY CONDOM

Goods: Condoms

  • The web page provides no means of ordering goods. While there is a “Where to Buy” button at the top, the record does not contain the underlying page the button would lead consumers to. While the applicant explained in the appeal brief that the link connects shoppers with distributors of the goods, the TTAB found this to be insufficient because consumers were not able to immediately and directly purchase the goods.
  • The applied-for mark is not associated with the goods because (1) the packaging for the goods shown on the web page shows the trademark “Inspiral” and not the applied-for mark, (2) the applied-for mark is not prominently displayed since it is buried in text and is not the first word of a sentence, and (3) while the applied-for mark is shown in bold font, the web page contains other descriptive terms that also appear in bold font.
  • The applicant submitted a declaration that lacked sufficient detail or explanation of how the web page is used at the point of sale.