No summary, proceed to other tabs.

Click the topic headings to navigate through the cases and quotes concerning that topic.
Expand All | Contract All

  • The wording "or other insignia of the United States" must be restricted in its application to insignia of the same general class as "the flag or coat of arms" of the United States. Since both the flag and coat of arms are emblems of national authority it seems evident that other insignia of national authority such as the Great Seal of the United States, the Presidential Seal, and seals of government departments would be equally prohibited registration under Section 2(b). On the other hand, it appears equally evident that department insignia which are merely used to identify a service or facility of the Government are not insignia of national authority and that they do not fall within the general prohibitions of this section of the Statute.
    • In re Peter S. Herrick, P.A., Serial No. 76653159 (TTAB 2009)
      • "[T]he wording "or other insignia of the United States" must be restricted in its application to insignia of the same general class as "the flag or coat of arms" of the United States. Since both the flag and coat of arms are emblems of national authority it seems evident that other insignia of national authority such as the Great Seal of the United States, the Presidential Seal, and seals of government departments would be equally prohibited registration under Section 2(b). On the other hand, it appears equally evident that department insignia which are merely used to identify a service or facility of the Government are not insignia of national authority and that they do not fall within the general prohibitions of this section of the Statute." In re U.S. Department of the Interior, 142 USPQ 506, 507 (TTAB 1964). See also Heroes Inc. v. Boomer Esiason Hero's Foundation, 43 USPQ2d 1193, 1198 (TTAB 1997).
  • Registration of a mark that constitutes a simulation of a government seal is prohibited under Section 2(b) because a government insignia, such as the seal of the Department of the Treasury, represents the authority of the government (i.e., an emblem of governmental authority).
    • In re Peter S. Herrick, P.A., Serial No. 76653159 (TTAB 2009)
      • Because the government insignia at issue is the seal of the Department of the Treasury thereby representing the authority of the government (i.e., an emblem of governmental authority), registration of a mark that constitutes a simulation of that seal is prohibited under Section 2(b). In re U.S. Department of the Interior, 142 USPQ at 507.
  • The issue is whether the symbol at issue identify people and things associated with a particular agency within a department of the executive branch of the government, rather than function as an insignia of national significance representing the authority of the government or nation as a whole.
    • In re Peter S. Herrick, P.A., Serial No. 76653159 (TTAB 2009)
      • In other words, the issue is whether the symbol at issue "identify people and things associated with a particular agency within a department of the executive branch of the government, rather than function as an insignia of national significance representing the authority of the government or nation as a whole." U.S Navy v. U.S. Manufacturing Co., 2 USPQ 1254, 1256 (TTAB 1987).
  • Because the United States Customs Service was formerly a division of the Department of Treasury, and not a government department itself, and the seal was used to identify a service or facility of the Department of the Treasury, the seal of the former agency is not prohibited under Section 2(b).
    • In re Peter S. Herrick, P.A., Serial No. 76653159 (TTAB 2009)
      • On the other hand, with respect to the seal of the United States Customs Service, because the United States Customs Service was formerly a division of the Department of Treasury, and not a government department itself, and the seal was used to identify a service or facility of the Department of the Treasury, the seal of the former agency is not prohibited under Section 2(b). In re U.S. Department of the Interior, 142 USPQ at 507.
  • Section 2(b) provides that no trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it consists of or comprises the flag or coat of arms or other insignia of the United States or any simulation thereof.
    • In re Peter S. Herrick, P.A., Serial No. 76653159 (TTAB 2009)
      • Section 2(b) of the Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C. §1052(b), provides, in relevant part, that "[n]o trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it (b) Consists of or comprises the flag or coat of arms or other insignia of the United States . . . or any simulation thereof."
  • The determination of whether applicant's mark is a simulation of an insignia of the United States is made without a careful analysis and side-by-side comparison with the government insignia because purchasers normally retain but a general or overall rather than a specific recollection of the various elements or characteristics of design marks.
    • In re Peter S. Herrick, P.A., Serial No. 76653159 (TTAB 2009)
      • The determination of whether applicant's mark is a simulation of an insignia of the United States is made "without a careful analysis and side-by-side comparison" with the government insignia because "purchasers normally retain but a general or overall rather than a specific recollection of the various elements or characteristics of design marks." Id.
  • The word "simulation" in the context of Section 2(b) is used in its usual and generally understood meaning, namely, "an assumption or imitation of a particular appearance or form."
    • In re Peter S. Herrick, P.A., Serial No. 76653159 (TTAB 2009)
      • The word "simulation" in the context of Section 2(b) is used in its usual and generally understood meaning, namely, "an assumption or imitation of a particular appearance or form." The Random House Dictionary of the English Language (Unabridged) p. 1783 (2nd ed. 1987). See In re Advance Industrial Security, Inc., 194 USPQ 344, 346 (TTAB 1977) (a simulation for purposes of Section 2(b) refers "to something that gives the appearance or effect or has the characteristics of the original item").
  • Case Finding: When applicant's mark is compared to the government seal at issue, we find that with the exception of the words (The Department of the Treasury vs. U.S. Customs Service), they are virtually identical, and that the average person upon seeing applicant's mark would associate it with the Department of Treasury seal. In other words, applicant's mark is not readily distinguishable from the Department of the Treasury seal. Therefore, applicant's mark consists of or comprises a simulation of an insignia of the United States thereby prohibiting registration.
    • In re Peter S. Herrick, P.A., Serial No. 76653159 (TTAB 2009)
      • When applicant's mark is compared to the government seal at issue, we find that with the exception of the words (The Department of the Treasury vs. U.S. Customs Service), they are virtually identical, and that the average person upon seeing applicant's mark would associate it with the Department of Treasury seal. In other words, applicant's mark is not readily distinguishable from the Department of the Treasury seal. Therefore, applicant's mark consists of or comprises a simulation of an insignia of the United States thereby prohibiting registration.
In re Peter S. Herrick, P.A., Serial No. 76653159 (TTAB 2009)Grand Total
Heroes Inc. v. Boomer Esiason Hero's Foundation, 43 USPQ2d 1193 (TTAB 1997) 1
U.S Navy v. U.S. Manufacturing Co., 2 USPQ 1254 (TTAB 1987) 1
In re Advance Industrial Security, Inc., 194 USPQ 344 (TTAB 1977) 1
In re U.S. Department of the Interior, 142 USPQ 506 (TTAB 1964) 1
Grand Total44
No Statutes Listed

Click to view the entire TTAB Opinion (PDF format).