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Generic Refusals

If a mark is composed of a generic term(s) for applicant’s goods or services and a TLD, the examining attorney must refuse registration on the ground that the mark is generic and the TLD has no trademark significance. See TMEP §1209.01(b)(12) regarding marks comprised in part of “1-800″ or other telephone numbers. Marks comprised of generic terms combined with TLDs are not eligible for registration on the Supplemental Register, or on the Principal Register under Trademark Act §2(f), 15 U.S.C. §1052(f). This applies to trademarks, service marks, collective marks and certification marks.

Example : TURKEY.COM for frozen turkeys is unregistrable on either the
Principal or Supplemental Register.
Example : BANK.COM for banking services is unregistrable on either the
Principal or Supplemental Register.
The examining attorney generally should not issue a refusal in an application for registration on the Principal Register on the ground that a mark is a generic name for the goods or services unless the applicant asserts that the mark has acquired distinctiveness under §2(f) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1052(f). Absent such a claim, the examining attorney should issue a refusal on the ground that the mark is merely descriptive of the goods or services under §2(e)(1), and provide an advisory statement that the matter sought to be registered appears to be a generic name for the goods or services. TMEP §1209.02.

Last Modified: March 22nd, 2010