Improper use of the federal registration symbol, ®, that is deliberate and intends to deceive or mislead the public or the USPTO is fraud. See Copelands’ Enters. Inc. v. CNV Inc., 945 F.2d 1563, 20 USPQ2d 1295 (Fed. Cir. 1991); Wells Fargo & Co. v. Lundeen & Assocs., 20 USPQ2d 1156 (TTAB 1991).
The examining attorney may not issue a refusal of registration based on fraud. If it appears to the examining attorney that fraud on the USPTO has been committed, the examining attorney must follow the procedures outlined in TMEP §720.