Possible Obstacles When Filing a Surname As a Trademark

Underneath the US federal trademark law, it’s almost unattainable a trademark registration within the u . s . states . States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) round the mark that may be considered “mainly merely a surname”. Registration under such category features a inclination to handle refusal unless of course obviously clearly you are able to function as name has another significance in addition in the surname.

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Every time a surname can be used any trademark application, you’ve to consider the main concept of a trademark to consumers determines whether it is mainly a surname and isn’t to rely on the examiner’s subjectivity. Applicants must show the USPTO that buyers available on the market start to see the applied-for mark as being a mention of the company or brand rather of the surname., Under Section 2(e)(4) within the Trademark Act, a trademark that’s of first importance, a surname, is known as unregisterable across the Principal Registry within the USPTO without showing an acquired distinctiveness.

However, you are able to trademark a surname if proof of extended and exclusive use that changes the requirement for a surname regarding the specific good or service. When occurring, consumers ignore comprehend the applied-for mark obtaining a surname though particular services or goods.


When searching to obtain a trademark, applicants should keep in mind that numerous share exactly the same or similar last names. The real reason for refusing a mainly just surname application is fantastic for the examiners to help keep the shared names created for other applicants who’ve a want dealing with their surnames inside their business identity.

At occasions, even experienced examiners inside the USPTO have a problem with exercising whether an applied-for mark could be a surname as the solution is not necessarily apparent. Refusals are often issued to applicants whose marks unsuccessful to show other recognized meanings apart from a surname. To prevent acquiring a surname-based office action, the next questions is highly recommended prior to buying your trademark.

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May be the surname generally used? The greater popular a surname is, a bigger likelihood that it’s considered just like a surname.

May be the suggested mark the surname within the applicant or of anybody connected together with you? If the solution is yes,, it’s more probably that need considering as being a surname.

Will the suggested mark have alternative meaning apart from a surname? When the mark has other recognized meanings, it’s presumably not only a surname.

Will the suggested mark contain the structure or pronunciation in the surname? An indication that appears or sounds completely different from a surname isn’t regarded as mainly a surname.

May be the suggested mark stylized enough to distinct itself from what surname? Adding distinctive facets of design or stylization can transform a surname trademark into mainly not only a surname.

These guiding questions are fantastic with their simplicity and talent to assist avoid potential surname refusals. Nonetheless, they aren’t absolute. Each trademark scenario is affected by a combination of factors that shape the general analysis. There’s no set formula to prevent a surname refusal, but you can overcome it should you receive one.

Applicants who own several registration from the mark within the same or related services or goods might overcome an office building Action by doing the next:

Submit claims of getting prior surname registrations across the Principal Register or

Supply you with a signed declaration or even an affidavit which affirms the mark’s distinctiveness through its substantially continuous utilized in commerce not under 5 years for that USPTO.

Applicants may also present proof of acquired distinctiveness meant for the surname application. Evidence can include:

Ads for the trademark

Marketing spending centered on individuals promotions

Testimonials from partnering companies and customers and

Any evidence that recognizes the goal as being a source identifier for particular products or services.

Surname refusal isn’t uncommon and applicants must be aware that any mark comprised exclusively in the surname may be vulnerable to an office building action whether it doesn’t produce recognized meanings. Therefore, it is inside the owner’s welfare can be expected to exhibit the aim has acquired non-surname significance incorporated inside the evidence to overcome a surname refusal later on.