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Grounds for refusal of a trademark

After submitting your application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for registration, your application is examined by a trademark attorney. The trademark attorney’s decision to approve or decline your application from being accepted is based on the finding of conflicting marks that are already registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office database. The principle factors whether an application should be approved are based on the potential for confusion:

  • The similarity of already registered trademarks.
  • The relationship the goods and/or services listed on the application to that of the other trademarks in the USPTO database and other federal and state directories.
  • Primarily only a surname.

If the examining attorney does find minor conflicts, he or she may email or call you for an explanation and how you can fix the conflict. You must respond within 6 months from the receipt of the notice, if you do not respond the application will be declared abandoned.

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