Back in 2009, we wrote about what was then Kimberly Clark’s pair of single color purple trademark registrations in connection with “gloves for medical and surgical uses” and “disposable nitrile gloves for general use,” now owned by Avent and sold under the HALYARD brand:
Those registrations are still big deals since they both exist on the Principal Register (as opposed to the Supplemental Register), and as far as I can see, no other medical examination glove colors have been able to withstand the reliable USPTO probing to attain Principal Registration status.
As the above six hand drawings reveal, growing numbers in the medical examination glove world have raised their hands at the USPTO to gain federal registration of a single color or a contrasting pair of colors (one appearing on the inside and the other on the outside).
Let’s wait and see what happens to the six pending applications for the drawings shown above (Chou #1, Digitcare, Chou #2, Chou #3, Chou #4, and Avent Green) after the USPTO rolls up its sleeves, and begins a different kind of hands-on examination. We’ll follow the drama as it unfolds.
From where I’m sitting, it seems doubtful that any will pass the vigorous Principal Register examination, but there are also serious questions as to whether survival of the appropriate Supplemental Register probing is warranted either, as explored more deeply further below.
In addition to #1-4 above, Chou also has a blue/white — outside/inside color combination mark and the inverse of those same colors — both on their way to the Supplemental Register.
Ascend Eagle also has a few hands in the color trademark pot for medical examination gloves, orange is registered on the Supplemental Register (tangerine never made it), but this peach and this red one are both suspended for consideration on the Supplemental Register.
Colur World has a suspended pink single color application too, apparently now attempting Principal Registration, since it already has a Supplemental Registration for pink medical gloves.
While, Xela has secured single color copper and single color magenta trademark registrations — both have landed on the Supplemental Register stretcher too; as did this individual’s single color application for gold colored medical gloves.
With all this focus on gaining Supplemental Registrations in the medical examination glove field, you’d think the USPTO’s probing on the question of functionality has been, perhaps a bit soft.
Turns out, the Digitcare trademark application for an outer-white/inner-black medical exam glove contains an enlightening bit of information that could shine like a flashlight on the question of functionality:
- “Contrasting Black and White ApexPro identifies conformance to infection control protocols”
- “High contrast perma-white exterior for improved visibility with infectious fluids”
Show of hands, how many see the functionality scalpel removing even the Supplemental Registration option to one or more of the above six pending color applications, given the revelations in the Digitcare file history?