What Trademarks get Refused

Merely Descriptive Trademarks

A mark is merely descriptive if it describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose, or use of an applicant’s goods and/or services. TMEP §1209.01(b). The mark need not describe all the goods and services identified, as long as it merely describes one of them. Similarly, a mark is considered merely descriptive if it immediately conveys knowledge of a quality, feature, function, or characteristic of an applicant’s goods or services.

  • Registration is refused because the applied-for mark merely describes a feature of applicant’s goods.  Look to see if any word in the trademark are the same as words in the description of goods/products/services.
  • Generally, if the individual components of a mark retain their descriptive meaning in relation to the goods and/or services, the combination results in a composite mark that is itself descriptive and not registrable. i.e. THE BREATHABLE MATTRESS merely descriptive of beds, mattresses, box springs, and pillows where the evidence showed that the term “BREATHABLE” retained its ordinary dictionary meaning when combined with the term “MATTRESS” and the resulting combination was used in the relevant industry in a descriptive sense

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