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Why Would My US Trademark Be Refused?

The process to obtain a U.S. trademark can be difficult and complicated.  After filing a trademark application, the government attorney may find that procedural or substantive issues are present.  If an issue arises, the government attorney may issue an office action.  The dreaded office action can be difficult to overcome or navigate.  There are many reasons for a U.S. trademark to receive an office action.  
First, we recommend that you hire a qualified U.S. trademark attorney to help you with this process.  Second, some of the reasons for an office action include statutory refusals such as a 2d-Likelihood of Confusion Refusal, Descriptiveness Refusal, Geographic Refusal, and Surname Refusal.  All of these refusals will likely require a unique knowledge of U.S. trademark law.  In general, a 2d Likelihood of Confusion refers to two or more marks that would likely confuse a consumer if the goods/services were encountered in commerce.  A descriptiveness refusal would be issued if the mark describes a significant feature or characteristic of the claimed goods and/or services.  A geographic refusal would be issued if the proposed mark describes a geographic location.  Finally, a surname refusal would be issued for a mark that primarily refers to a surname of an individual.  Obviously, there are exceptions to each refusal and strategic ways to avoid many of the refusals issued.  To take advantage of these important trademark strategies, it is important to hire a qualified U.S. trademark attorney.  
If you have questions about the analysis of your proposed trademark and need legal assistant with the analysis, please contact one of the attorneys on for assistance.  


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