As you may recall from March of this year, we blogged about Kimberly-Clark’s novel intent-to-use trademark application for a "sensory, touch mark" in connection with disposable paper hand-towels. Other discussions of sensory, touch marks may be found here.
In any event, the original description of the claimed Kimberly-Clark trademark was as follows: "The mark consists of a distinctive arrangement of textured alternating dot pattern appearing on the surface of the carton of disposable paper hand-towels. The mark is a sensory, touch mark."
Here is the original drawing (on the left):
Kimberly-Clark now appears to have shifted its approach by amending both the drawing (the new drawing shown above on the right) and the description of the mark to now read: "The mark consists of a configuration of packaging consisting of a design of a distinctive arrangement of soft textured raised alternating large and small dot pattern appearing on the surface of the carton of disposable paper hand-towels. The matter shown in broken lines is not part of the mark and serves only to show the position or placement of the mark."
So, no more reference to this being a "sensory, touch mark" — now the focus is on a packaging configuration. This amended mark was approved for publication by the Trademark Office as an inherently distinctive trademark, and it was published for opposition just days ago, on December 8, 2009.
What do you think, is this amendment a material alteration of the originally filed sensory, touch mark? Are the commercial impressions of the original mark and the amended mark essentially the same? Apparently the Examining Attorney concluded they were. Do you agree?