15 U.S. Code § 1052 - Trademarks registrable on principal register; concurrent registration

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—
(a) Consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute; or a geographical indication which, when used on or in connection with wines or spirits, identifies a place other than the origin of the goods and is first used on or in connection with wines or spirits by the applicant on or after one year after the date on which the WTO Agreement (as defined in section 3501 (9) of title 19) enters into force with respect to the United States.
(b) Consists of or comprises the flag or coat of arms or other insignia of the United States, or of any State or municipality, or of any foreign nation, or any simulation thereof.
(c) Consists of or comprises a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual except by his written consent, or the name, signature, or portrait of a deceased President of the United States during the life of his widow, if any, except by the written consent of the widow.
(d) Consists of or comprises a mark which so resembles a mark registered in the Patent and Trademark Office, or a mark or trade name previously used in the United States by another and not abandoned, as to be likely, when used on or in connection with the goods of the applicant, to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive: Provided, That if the Director determines that confusion, mistake, or deception is not likely to result from the continued use by more than one person of the same or similar marks under conditions and limitations as to the mode or place of use of the marks or the goods on or in connection with which such marks are used, concurrent registrations may be issued to such persons when they have become entitled to use such marks as a result of their concurrent lawful use in commerce prior to
(1) the earliest of the filing dates of the applications pending or of any registration issued under this chapter;
(2) July 5, 1947, in the case of registrations previously issued under the Act of March 3, 1881, or February 20, 1905, and continuing in full force and effect on that date; or
(3) July 5, 1947, in the case of applications filed under the Act of February 20, 1905, and registered after July 5, 1947. Use prior to the filing date of any pending application or a registration shall not be required when the owner of such application or registration consents to the grant of a concurrent registration to the applicant. Concurrent registrations may also be issued by the Director when a court of competent jurisdiction has finally determined that more than one person is entitled to use the same or similar marks in commerce. In issuing concurrent registrations, the Director shall prescribe conditions and limitations as to the mode or place of use of the mark or the goods on or in connection with which such mark is registered to the respective persons.
(e) Consists of a mark which
(1) when used on or in connection with the goods of the applicant is merely descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of them,
(2) when used on or in connection with the goods of the applicant is primarily geographically descriptive of them, except as indications of regional origin may be registrable under section 1054 of this title,
(3) when used on or in connection with the goods of the applicant is primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive of them,
(4) is primarily merely a surname, or
(5) comprises any matter that, as a whole, is functional.
(f) Except as expressly excluded in subsections (a), (b), (c), (d), (e)(3), and (e)(5) of this section, nothing in this chapter shall prevent the registration of a mark used by the applicant which has become distinctive of the applicant’s goods in commerce. The Director may accept as prima facie evidence that the mark has become distinctive, as used on or in connection with the applicant’s goods in commerce, proof of substantially exclusive and continuous use thereof as a mark by the applicant in commerce for the five years before the date on which the claim of distinctiveness is made. Nothing in this section shall prevent the registration of a mark which, when used on or in connection with the goods of the applicant, is primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive of them, and which became distinctive of the applicant’s goods in commerce before December 8, 1993.
A mark which would be likely to cause dilution by blurring or dilution by tarnishment under section 1125 (c) of this title, may be refused registration only pursuant to a proceeding brought under section 1063 of this title. A registration for a mark which would be likely to cause dilution by blurring or dilution by tarnishment under section 1125 (c) of this title, may be canceled pursuant to a proceeding brought under either section 1064 of this title or section 1092 of this title.

Source

(July 5, 1946, ch. 540, title I, § 2,60 Stat. 428; Pub. L. 87–772, § 2,Oct. 9, 1962, 76 Stat. 769; Pub. L. 93–596, § 1,Jan. 2, 1975, 88 Stat. 1949; Pub. L. 100–667, title I, § 104,Nov. 16, 1988, 102 Stat. 3937; Pub. L. 103–182, title III, § 333(a),Dec. 8, 1993, 107 Stat. 2114; Pub. L. 103–465, title V, § 522,Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4982; Pub. L. 105–330, title II, § 201(a)(2), (12),Oct. 30, 1998, 112 Stat. 3069, 3070; Pub. L. 106–43, § 2(a),Aug. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 218; Pub. L. 106–113, div. B, § 1000(a)(9) [title IV, § 4732(b)(1)(B)], Nov. 29, 1999, 113 Stat. 1536, 1501A–583; Pub. L. 109–312, § 3(a),Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1732.)
References in Text

Acts March 3, 1881, and February 20, 1905, referred to in subsec. (d), are acts Mar. 3, 1881, ch. 138, 21 Stat. 502, and Feb. 20, 1905, ch. 592, 33 Stat. 724, which were repealed insofar as inconsistent with this chapter by act July 5, 1946, ch. 540, § 46(a),60 Stat. 444. Act Feb. 20, 1905, was classified to sections 81 to 109 of this title.
Prior Provisions

Acts Feb. 20, 1905, ch. 592, § 5,33 Stat. 725; Mar. 2, 1907, ch. 2573, § 1,34 Stat. 1251; Feb. 18, 1911, ch. 113, 36 Stat. 918; Jan. 8, 1913, ch. 7, 37 Stat. 649; Mar. 19, 1920, ch. 104, § 9,41 Stat. 535; June 7, 1924, ch. 341, 43 Stat. 647.
Amendments

2006—Pub. L. 109–312, which directed substitution of “A mark which would be likely to cause dilution by blurring or dilution by tarnishment under section 1125 (c) of this title, may be refused registration only pursuant to a proceeding brought under section 1063 of this title. A registration for a mark which would be likely to cause dilution by blurring or dilution by tarnishment under section 1125 (c) of this title, may be canceled pursuant to a proceeding brought under either section 1064 of this title or section 1092 of this title.” for last two sentences in subsec. (f) of this section, was executed by making the substitution for “A mark which when used would cause dilution under section 1125 (c) of this title may be refused registration only pursuant to a proceeding brought under section 1063 of this title. A registration for a mark which when used would cause dilution under section 1125 (c) of this title may be canceled pursuant to a proceeding brought under either section 1064 of this title or section 1092 of this title.” in concluding provisions of section to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
1999—Pub. L. 106–43inserted concluding provisions.
Subsecs. (d), (f). Pub. L. 106–113substituted “Director” for “Commissioner” wherever appearing.
1998—Pub. L. 105–330, § 201(a)(12), substituted “trademark” for “trade-mark” in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 105–330, § 201(a)(2)(A), struck out “or” before “(4)” and inserted “, or (5) comprises any matter that, as a whole, is functional” before period at end.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 105–330, § 201(a)(2)(B), substituted “subsections (a), (b), (c), (d), (e)(3), and (e)(5)” for “paragraphs (a), (b), (c), (d), and (e)(3)”.
1994—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–465amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: “Consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.”
1993—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 103–182, § 333(a)(1), amended subsec. (e) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (e) read as follows: “Consists of a mark which, (1) when used on or in connection with the goods of the applicant is merely descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of them, or (2) when used on or in connection with the goods of the applicant is primarily geographically descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of them, except as indications of regional origin may be registrable under section 1054 of this title, or (3) is primarily merely a surname.”
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 103–182, § 333(a)(2), substituted “(d), and (e)(3)” for “and (d)” and inserted at end “Nothing in this section shall prevent the registration of a mark which, when used on or in connection with the goods of the applicant, is primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive of them, and which became distinctive of the applicant’s goods in commerce before December 8, 1993.”
1988—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 100–667, § 104(1), amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (d) read as follows: “Consists of or comprises a mark which so resembles a mark registered in the Patent and Trademark Office or a mark or trade name previously used in the United States by another and not abandoned, as to be likely, when applied to the goods of the applicant, to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive: Provided, That when the Commissioner determines that confusion, mistake, or deception is not likely to result from the continued use by more than one person of the same or similar marks under conditions and limitations as to the mode or place of use of the marks or the goods in connection with which such marks are used, concurrent registrations may be issued to such persons when they have become entitled to use such marks as a result of their concurrent lawful use in commerce prior to (i) the earliest of the filing dates of the applications pending or of any registration issued under this chapter; or (ii) July 5, 1947, in the case of registrations previously issued under the Act of March 3, 1881, or February 20, 1905, and continuing in full force and effect on that date; or (iii) July 5, 1947, in the case of applications filed under the Act of February 20, 1905, and registered after July 5, 1947. Concurrent registrations may also be issued by the Commissioner when a court of competent jurisdiction has finally determined that more than one person is entitled to use the same or similar marks in commerce. In issuing concurrent registrations, the Commissioner shall prescribe conditions and limitations as to the mode or place of use of the mark or the goods in connection with which such mark is registered to the respective persons.”
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 100–667, § 104(2), substituted “used on or in connection with” for “applied to” in two places.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 100–667, § 104(3), substituted “used on or in connection with” for “applied to” and “five years before the date on which the claim of distinctiveness is made” for “five years next preceding the date of the filing of the application for its registration”
1975—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 93–596substituted “Patent and Trademark Office” for “Patent Office”.
1962—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 87–772, among other changes, substituted provisions authorizing the issuance of concurrent registrations to persons when they have become entitled to use such marks as a result of their concurrent lawful use in commerce prior to the earliest of the filing dates of the applications pending or of any registration issued under this chapter, or July 5, 1947, in the case of registrations previously issued under the act of Mar. 3, 1881, or Feb. 20, 1905, and continuing in full force and effect on that date, or July 5, 1947, in the case of applications under the act of Feb. 20, 1905, and registered after July 5, 1947, for provisions which restricted issuance of concurrent registrations to persons entitled to use such mark as a result of their concurrent lawful use thereof in commerce prior to any of the filing dates of the applications involved, and provisions directing that issuance of the mark be upon such conditions and limitations as to the mode or place of use of the marks or the goods in connection with which such marks are used, for provisions which required issuance under conditions and limitations as to the mode or place of use of the goods in connection with which such registrations may be granted, and eliminated provisions which limited confusion, mistake, or deception to purchasers, required written notice of applications for concurrent registrations and of hearings thereon, and publication in the Official Gazette upon a decision to grant such a registration and permitted a court to order such a registration under section 4915 of the Revised Statutes.
Effective Date of 1999 Amendments

Amendment by Pub. L. 106–113effective 4 months after Nov. 29, 1999, see section 1000(a)(9) [title IV, § 4731] of Pub. L. 106–113, set out as a note under section 1 of Title 35, Patents.
Pub. L. 106–43, § 2(e),Aug. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 218, provided that: “The amendments made by this section [amending this section and sections 1063, 1064, and 1092 of this title] shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 5, 1999] and shall apply only to any application for registration filed on or after January 16, 1996.”
Effective Date of 1998 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 105–330effective Oct. 30, 1998, and applicable only to any civil action filed or proceeding before the United States Patent and Trademark Office commenced on or after such date relating to the registration of a mark, see section 201(b) ofPub. L. 105–330, set out as a note under section 1051 of this title.
Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Pub. L. 103–465, title V, § 523,Dec. 8, 1994, 108 Stat. 4982, provided that: “The amendments made by this subtitle [subtitle B (§§ 521–523) of title V of Pub. L. 103–465, amending this section and section 1127 of this title] take effect one year after the date on which the WTO Agreement enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1995].”
Effective Date of 1993 Amendment

Pub. L. 103–182, title III, § 335,Dec. 8, 1993, 107 Stat. 2116, provided that:
“(a) In General.—Subject to subsections (b) and (c), the amendments made by this subtitle [subtitle C (§§ 331–335) of title III of Pub. L. 103–182, enacting section 104A of Title 17, Copyrights, amending this section, section 1091 of this title, and section 104 of Title 35, Patents, and amending provisions set out as a note under section 109 of Title 17] take effect on the date the Agreement [North American Free Trade Agreement] enters into force with respect to the United States [Jan. 1, 1994].
“(b) Section 331.—The amendments made by section 331 [amending section 104 of Title 35] shall apply to all patent applications that are filed on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 8, 1993]: Provided, That an applicant for a patent, or a patentee, may not establish a date of invention by reference to knowledge or use thereof, or other activity with respect thereto, in a NAFTA country, except as provided in sections 119 and 365 of title 35, United States Code, that is earlier than the date of the enactment of this Act.
“(c) Section 333.—The amendments made by section 333 [amending this section and section 1091 of this title] shall apply only to trademark applications filed on or after the date of the enactment of this Act.”
Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–667effective one year after Nov. 16, 1988, see section 136 ofPub. L. 100–667, set out as a note under section 1051 of this title.
Effective Date of 1975 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 93–596effective Jan. 2, 1975, see section 4 ofPub. L. 93–596, set out as a note under section 1111 of this title.
Repeal and Effect on Existing Rights

Repeal of inconsistent provisions, effect of this chapter on pending proceedings and existing registrations and rights under prior acts, see notes set out under section 1051 of this title.
Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions of other officers, employees, and agencies of Department of Commerce to Secretary of Commerce, with certain exceptions, see Reorg. Plan No. 5 of 1950, §§ 1, 2, eff. May 24, 1950, 15 F.R. 3174, 64 Stat. 1263, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
Uruguay Round Agreements: Entry Into Force

The Uruguay Round Agreements, including the World Trade Organization Agreement and agreements annexed to that Agreement, as referred to in section 3511 (d) of Title 19, Customs Duties, entered into force with respect to the United States on Jan. 1, 1995. See note set out under section 3511 of Title 19.
Marks Registered Under Ten-Year Proviso of Trade-Mark Act of 1905

Marks registered under the “ten-year proviso” of section 5 of the act of Feb. 20, 1905, as amended, deemed to have become distinctive of the registrant’s goods in commerce under par. (f) of this section, see section 46(b) of act July 5, 1946, set out in note under section 1051 of this title.

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15 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

 

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