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.