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Basis for Mark Rejection by the United States Patent & Trademark Office

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The United States Patent & Trademark Office reserves the right to refuse registrations of trademarks it feels do not comply with its guidelines. I’ve outlined these for you here, to give you a better idea of what they are. It should be noted that not all words, names, symbols, or devices function as trademarks. A great example of this are marks that are merely the generic name of the goods.

I am also listing other grounds for refusal discussed in the Trademark Act, such as the following.

The proposed trademark contains immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter.

The proposed trademark may cast a negative light on a person (living or dead), institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or refer to them contemptuously.

The proposed trademark utilized the flag or coat of arms, or other insignia of the United States, or of any municipality or State, or of any foreign nation.

The proposed trademark utilizes in some form a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual, except by that person’s written permission; as well as the name, signature, or portrait of a deceased President of the United States during the life of his widow, if any, except by her written permission.

The proposed trademark is similar enough to an already registered mark that is could cause a likelihood of confusion.

The proposed trademark is merely descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of the goods or services belonging to the applicant.

The proposed trademark is primarily geographically descriptive or deceptively geographically misdescriptive of goods and services belonging to the applicant.

The proposed trademark is primarily merely a surname.

You would be wise to consult with a Florida trademark lawyer first, before undertaking any trademark matters.

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