Trademark Protection

Other Potential Grounds for the USPTO to Refuse Registration

The USPTO will also refuse registration of a proposed mark for many other reasons, including if the mark is:

  • A surname
  • Geographically descriptive of the origin of the goods/services
  • A foreign term that translates to a descriptive or generic term
  • An individual’s name or likeness
  • The title of a single book and/or movie
  • A matter that is used in a purely ornamental manner.

While some of these refusals are an absolute bar to registration, you may overcome others by providing evidence under certain circumstances. For more information about these and other possible refusals, see Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) Chapter 1200

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