3 reasons your trademark application might be refused

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2022 | intellectual property

Trademarks play a vital role in protecting your intellectual property. As a result, putting the correct ones in place for all necessary areas is crucial.

Yet, each year the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) turns down many trademark approval requests leaving the businesses applying in a vulnerable position. Here are some things to consider if you do not want that to happen to you:

They sound the same as another trademark

Do not expect to get permission to trademark a line of dolls called Bar-B. Nor a line of soft drinks called Ko-ca Ko-La.

They look the same as another trademark

Trying to trademark a logo of a pear with a chunk bitten out of it? Think again. While a pear is not an apple, the USPTO is likely to consider it too similar to Apple’s logo.

The same could apply if your logo contains design elements of one that is already trademarked. If the USPTO believes that someone could glimpse your logo and take it to be another, they will probably turn you down. For example, if you had a company whose initials were S.A.P., do not try writing SAP in white Helvetica font on a dark blue background. If people could mistake your logo for GAP, the clothing company, you will not get your trademark.

They mean the same

If the translation of a word has already been trademarked in another language, that could see your request refused.

For example, a sports team called the Chicago Osos is unlikely to find trademark approval because “oso” is the Spanish word for bear.

Getting legal help to carry out all necessary checks and file your trademark application gives you the best chance of approval and reduces the likelihood of future intellectual property lawsuits.