Grounds for Refusal of a Trademark
The USPTO can refuse your registration of a trademark for grounds such as:
- The trademark submitted for registration is descriptive or deceptive in regard to the products or the services for which it will be used, such as: “medical guide” for website services that feature medical guides, trademark “denim” for products like jeans, and “spicy sauce” for a product like salsa.
- You submit a trademark that represents a deceptive, immoral or scandalous matter.
- Your trademark falsely suggests a connection with national symbols, institutions, beliefs or persons that are dead or alive or presents them in contempt or disrepute.
- The visual representation of your trademark represents or includes the insignia, coat of arms or flag of the United States or any municipality, state or foreign nation.
- The trademark submitted by you for registration makes reference to or includes a signature, a name or portrait of an individual without having his or her consent.
- The trademark submitted by you for registration makes reference to or includes a signature, a name or portrait of a deceased U.S. President without his widow’s consent.
- Your trademark can create confusion, mistake or deception because it is too similar to a trademark that is already registered with the USPTO.
- The trademark you have submitted is primarily geographically descriptive or deceptively geographically descriptive of your goods and/or services.
- You trademark is mostly a surname.
- Your trademark has a functional sense, such as the word “fragile” which cannot be used to as a trademark label because it gives the impression of fragility of package’s contents.