USA – Weak trademarks

Before you start your trademark registration, it is worthful to educate yourself as what can prevent the registration of your trademark. The examiners at the USPTO will review your trademark application and if your trademark is weak, they will not allow it to be registered! You may even have to reapply for your trademark  from the beginning.

The United States Patent Trademark Office researches their database carefully before approving a trademark. They look to see whether this trademark will cause conflict with another’s mark and whether it falls into the below categories.

  1. Likelihood of confusion – this is when the mark may be similar to anothers mark in terms of sound, appearance and meaning. In this respect the mark does not have to be identical to receive this refusal.
  2. Descriptive trademarks describe the products or the business themselves and are common words with no uniqueness.
    Other examples:
    – geographically descriptive as to where the goods or services came from
    – a foreign word that when translated is descriptive
  3. Generic trademarks – these are simply the name of the product itself or the service being provided.
  4. Suggestive trademarks – these hint the type of goods or service being provided
  5. Surnames/individual names

In order to save money and not waste time it is a good idea to consider the above obstacles which can prevent registration. It is recommended to do your research and before you make your final selections. (A trademark search can also be very useful in selecting a trademark).

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