What’s Yahoo! without the !

Yahoo! was refused a trademark registration by the USPTO for the mark “!” because the mark applied for and the specimen submitted as proof of use for the mark did not match.

The mark “!” assigned serial number 78700371 was filed for the goods and services Advertising, Business & Retail Services  , Communications Services  described on the application as, “Advertising, marketing and promotional services; business services, namely, business management and consultation; online shopping services; online comparison shopping services; online directory services to help locate people, places, organizations, phone numbers, home pages, and electronic mail addresses; business consulting services; employment information services, namely, providing a website featuring employment opportunities and career placement which offers the exchange of information.”

Yahoo!'s specimen for !
Yahoo!’s specimen for !

A partial rendering of the specimen is shown above, this office action was mailed to Yahoo! after the notice of publication was issued.
I wonder if J Scott Evans (attorney of record for Yahoo!) would be able to displace the argument posed by the examiner Leigh Caroline Case when she states, “In this case, the specimen displays the mark as a “Y” on an oval with an exclamation point, while the drawing shows the mark without the “Y.””and, “…amending the mark in the drawing to conform to the mark on the specimen would be a material alteration in this case because the mark on the specimen, with the “Y,” creates a different commercial impression from the mark on the drawing.”

We hope that Yahoo! does not lose its ! point else Yahoo would just not be Yahoo!

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