identified services and, therefore, incapable of functioning as a source-identifier for applicant’s services.
In re The Am. Acad. of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
, 64 USPQ2d 1748 (TTAB 2002);
In re A La Vieille Russie, Inc.
, 60 USPQ2d 1895 (TTAB 2001);
,1209.02(a).Under these circumstances, neither an amendment to proceed under Trademark Act Section 2(f) nor anamendment to the Supplemental Register can be recommended.
A mark is merely descriptive if it describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purposeor use of the specified goods and/or services. TMEP §1209.01(b);
see In re Steelbuilding.com
, 415 F.3d1293, 1297, 75 USPQ2d 1420, 1421 (Fed. Cir. 2005);
In re Gyulay
, 820 F.2d 1216, 1217-18, 3 USPQ2d1009, 1010 (Fed. Cir. 1987).In the instant case, applicant seeks registration of “RECIPROCAL” for “Banking services; Financialservices, namely, assisting financial institutions with the management of customer funds and facilitatingthe transfer of funds between fund sources and deposit accounts; Financial services, namely, themanagement of deposit accounts and facilitating the transfer of funds between fund sources and depositaccounts; Financial services, namely, funds transfer and transaction services; Financial services, namely,allocation of funds to and placement of funds in deposit accounts; Financial transaction services, namely,maintaining customer records for financial transactions, custodial and sub-custodial services, andsettlement services; FDIC claim processing services.” The trademark examining attorney refers to theexcerpted articles from the LexisNexis® computerized database in which RECIPROCAL appeared inreference to bank mergers in different states to establish cooperative relationships in the attached articles.See attachments.Also attached is a definition of RECIPROCAL DEPOSITS from uslegal.com:According to 12 CFR 327.8 [Title 12 -- Banks and Banking; Chapter III -- Federal Deposit InsuranceCorporation; Subchapter B -- Regulations and Statements of General Policy; Part 327 – Assessments;Subpart A -- in General],
means “deposits that an insured depository institutionreceives through a deposit placement network on a reciprocal basis, such that: (1) for any deposit received,the institution (as agent for depositors) places the same amount with other insured depository institutionsthrough the network; and (2) each member of the network sets the interest rate to be paid on the entireamount of funds it places with other network members.”ThewordRECIPROCALimmediatelyconveystoconsumersthattheapplicant’sservicesareprovidedthroughcooperativerelationshipsapplicanthaswithbanksinotherstates,i.e.,reciprocalbanking.Inthespecimen,theapplicantreferstoitsuseofreciprocaldeposits.Therefore,theproposedmarkmerelydescribesamainfeatureoftheservicesandregistrationonthePrincipalRegistermustberefusedunderTrademark Act Section 2(e)(1).Although the trademark examining attorney has refused registration, applicant may respond to the refusalto register by submitting evidence and arguments in support of registration.
Applicant must respond to the requirement(s) set forth below.A. Literature