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Some Marks are not Trademarkable

Generic Terms, Last Names, Flags of States, and Other Marks are Not Trademarkable

Some things just aren’t trademarkable. First and foremost, anything that is likely to be confused with a mark that’s already registered cannot be trademarked. That is why before you file for a trademark, you conduct a comprehensive trademark search and get an opinion from a licensed attorney.

Even if your mark is not confusingly similar to another registered mark, there are still instances when you cannot register the trademark.  Unregistrable marks include:

  • Generic terms
  • Last Names or Surnames
  • Marks that depict flags of the states of the U.S
  • Marks that are misleading about the geographic location of production
  • Marks that indicate a living person without their consent (including pseudonyms). 

You must discuss your mark with a trademark attorney who knows how to guide you through the process and can tell you whether your mark is, on its face, an unregistrable mark or how to take steps to make it registrable such as filing a consent form for a living person mark. 

Ready to get started?

Karana IP works with startups, individuals, and companies to strategize and develop brands capable of being free from potential conflict with existing companies & brands.
Once potential conflict has been minimized, Karana IP files and manages the full trademark application so that you can move onto the business side of business.

Let Karana IP get you from ™️ to ®️.

If you have a new brand to protect, Karana IP has the ability to help you choose, protect, and enforce trademarks under state and federal law.  Contact Karana IP Law, LLC, today if you have questions about the selection, registration, protection, or enforcement of your mark.
If you would like to begin the trademark registration process, please submit a trademark intake form and Karana IP will contact you within 24 hours.

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