I would like to use one design that incoporates the American Flag within a logo and on several products. The logo/design does not demean or deface the flag and is slight variation of it. Is this allowable and “trademarkable”? Thank you.
It depends. There are many registered trademarks that incorporate aspects of the US flag. If you would like to see some of these registered marks, you can search. Go to USPTO Trademark web site and select “Trademark Electronic Search System”, affectionately known as TESS . Do a “free form” search with the following search terms:
(24.09.05)[DD] AND LIVE[LD]
You will get a list of over 1600 trademarks that include the stars and stripes as part of the trademark.
An Authentic US Flag will be refused trademark registration.
In general, an authentic US flag cannot be trademarked. Instead, the trademark can simulate or stylize a flag.
- The flag design is used to form a letter, number, or design.
- The flag is substantially obscured by words or designs.
- The design is not in a shape normally seen in flags.
- The flag design appears in a color different from that normally used in the national flag
- A significant feature is missing or changed.
For additional examination guidelines for trademarks that incorporation flags, refer to Examination Guide 2-07.