In 2013, the creators of the “Magic: The Gathering” card game applied to register a symbol of an arrow. The registration was specifically for card games, trading card games, playing cards, and accessories.

The specimen that they provided alleging proof of use only appears in one location on the playing cards. It doesn’t appear on packaging or any other places. This is important because the examining attorney assigned to this application said that this fails to function as a trademark, because it indicates a player move in the game rather than the source of the cards themselves.

Based on what was provided to them, The Patent and Trademark Office decided that the arrow could not function as a trademark. Whether it’s protected under patent law is a different question.

However, when it comes to trademark protection for a symbol on a card within a game, the Patent and Trademark Office has stated that it cannot be protected.