Share Comments/Suggestions on Draft of Examination Guide 3-12: Universal Symbols in Mark

We are pleased to announce a new initiative in response to feedback from practitioners and other stakeholders expressing a desire to provide constructive input on examination guides before they are finalized. To provide this opportunity, a draft version of an examination guide on universal symbols is being made available now for comment.

The purpose of the examination guide is to promote consistency in the examination of applications for marks featuring universal symbols, defined as publicly available designs or images that convey a widely known or readily recognized meaning when used in their relevant context (e.g., the "chasing arrows" recycling symbol). The guide will discuss universal symbols, address the relevant examination issues, and provide examples illustrating the concepts discussed.

You can submit comments on the examination guide using a web-based collaboration tool called IdeaScale®, which some of you may have already used to comment on the TMEP. The tool allows users to post comments on a topic, and view and respond to others' comments. In addition, users may vote to indicate agreement or disagreement with a particular comment. We may use the IdeaScale® webpage to address comments and will take all timely comments into account before issuing a final version of the guide.

Please submit all comments on the examination guide via IdeaScale® by August 16, 2012.

Instructions for Accessing the Universal Symbols Examination Guide IdeaScale Website

The draft copy of the guide contains hyperlinks in each section, taking you to the IdeaScale® webpage where you can post comments about the guide.

To post comments, you must be registered with, and logged on to, the IdeaScale® webpage. To register, click on the "Register" link in the upper-right corner of the webpage. You will then be prompted to provide an email address, solve a basic math problem (for spam bot prevention), and agree to the terms of service. Shortly after completing the registration page, you will receive an email verifying your account and allowing you to create a password. Once you have created a password, you can access the webpage.

On the webpage, you will see a menu on the left side of the screen showing the heading "Universal Symbols in Marks." Click on the plus symbol next to this heading to expand the menu and display the various sections of the examination guide (e.g., Part I, Part II, Appendix A).

To submit a new comment on a particular section, click on the "Submit New Idea" button above the menu and ensure that the correct section of the guide is selected in the drop-down menu under "Campaign." To submit a general comment about the examination guide, select "General Comments" in the drop-down menu. If you click on one of the IdeaScale® hyperlinks in the draft of the examination guide, the appropriate section of the guide will be pre-selected in the drop-down menu.

Please direct questions regarding accessing and using the IdeaScale® webpage to

TMEP IdeaScale Webpage Also Available

As a reminder, please use IdeaScale® webpage at to submit comments and suggestions related to selected sections and chapters of the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP). The TMEP itself, which can be accessed at, also includes links to the IdeaScale® webpage.