If you are wanting to register a trademark it is very important that you know what you can and what you cannot register you see if you submit an application that has something on this list of do not trademark or application will be rejected then you are wasting time and money.
I am going to cover three very important things that are on the no list in other words you should not try and register these things otherwise you run the risk of your application being rejected now if you haven’t already you can file a DIY application using my Link at trademarkanything.com but oftentimes people feel so confident using this link thinking they have everything under control not really knowing all the rules about what not to register like I already said if you register something that is on this list then you run the risk of rejection and then you want to take it out on me but no no that’s why I am explaining in this blogpost so that you are very aware and you are knowledgeable before you submit that trademark application I guarantee you there are lots of golden nuggets that you did not know.
1. You definitely want to avoid trying to register Flags or emblems
Why is that well in the Paris convention countries that have agreed to this particular rule say that they will not allow the registration of particular Flags so if you include the flag of let’s say Australia or maybe Germany or the United States in your logo then it carries a very high probability that it will be rejected now the one exception to this is if you tweak the flag enough so that it doesn’t necessarily you know represent the flag in its entirety.
Now I’m going to show you a couple of examples up here because it’s much easier than trying to explain what I mean so if you’ve distorted a little bit if you manipulate the flag a little bit if you you know change the shape that’s around it so that it doesn’t necessarily look like a flag then that might increase the chances that it will be registered but it is not necessarily a guarantee that it will be registered so I am about to show you some examples that were rejected by the trademark office.
In these examples you can clearly see that these are flags and they’re emblems and there is no other way to put it except to say that they are inherently Flags now I’m going to contrast that with these examples in these examples you can see how the designs were tweaked enough so that they don’t necessarily look like Flags you can still tell that the colors you used and the design could be part of a plug but the way the logo was created manipulates it enough to where the Trademark Office found it acceptable to be registered as a trademark so if you’re considering using flags and emblems and it’s really important that you consult with a trademark attorney.
So you can always scroll down and send me an email it’s free to do so but you want to make sure you consult with the trademark attorney who can help you decipher whether or not your logo or your design might or might not be acceptable to the trademark office now tell me in the comments down below what do you think?
Do you think that the designs that were registered do deserve a place on the principal register or even on the supplemental register or do you think they should have been rejected whether it was fair that these were accepted but these were not, now I also want to make it clear that this rule also applies to any other Insignia belonging to another country so not only Flags but Coats of Arms and other Insignia.
2. If you have a generic term in mind
If you have a generic term in mind, then please do not consider registering it as a trademark so I am going to put up a list of generic terms right here but I want to give you a couple of examples so that you understand exactly where I’m coming from and there is no confusion at all so some descriptive terms can include the word:
So back in the day there was a case revolving around mattress.com is mattress a generic word or is it distinctive enough for the company that wants to register it as a trademark that says that it is basically unique enough either because of the type of mattresses that they sell or because the public has now become aware that mattress.com belongs to a particular company what about
What do you think tell me in the comments below should companies be able to register such generic terms like mattress, Hotel, cellophane, tissue and think that it could belong to them do you think that they should be able to register those types of words on the principal register now if you’re wondering at this point
- What do I mean by the principal register?
- What do I mean by the supplemental register?
So back to generic terms hotels.com, mattresses.com, or mattress.com you want to make sure that you’re not choosing something that sounds so basic now I know this kind of goes against the laws of marketing because lots of people like to choose domains that are reflective of whatever it is that they sell whether it’s products or services but for purposes of the trademark office and whatever you choose as your business name or slogan you want to make sure that you are very thoughtful and that you read this blogpost till the very end because these tips like I said are going to save you time and money.
So by choosing something a little bit more distinctive and not so generic you will be avoiding a rejection and of course it’s not a guarantee but I have done this long enough to know that these rules I am providing you are from experience and with the examples I am giving you I’m hoping that you really really really get at least a very good grasp of the rules revolving around trademark laws and what you can register and what you cannot register as a trademark.
3. Miss descriptive Terms
Now before I go into Miss descriptive terms I want you to stay till the very end because I have a bonus which is also something that you cannot trademark and you want to make sure you listen to that but in number three I am going to cover missed descriptive terms so a miss descriptive term means that you could be misleading the public.
So I am going to give you a real life example there was a Russian company that decided to trademark the name of their vodka the name that they had chosen for their vodka basically translated to from Moscow or of Moscow but in this case the Vodka actually had nothing to do with Moscow it wasn’t produced or manufactured or even sold in Moscow and so it basically begged the question why are you labeling it as of Moscow or from Moscow if your product has nothing to do with Moscow so the USPTO rejected it.
Now I don’t want you to be in that same position when it comes to choosing a name that maybe is based on location or color or taste or or you know the perceived benefits so you want to make sure that you have somebody on your side to help you choose a name that has better chances of getting registered.
I also offer a course on this so if you want to increase your odds of registering a trademark make sure you scroll down into the description below and stay tuned for it.
So my bonus tip if you are somebody that’s in the Cannabis industry or maybe you sell things that could potentially be considered as illegal in certain States or could potentially be considered unlawful according to the federal laws of the United States then you definitely want to listen to tip number four so when it comes to registering your Brands and you have a cannabis related trademark you want to
4. Consider whether this is something that has been registered in the past
So it’s not impossible to register a cannabis related trademark which I have seen done in the past but it is not without struggle and it is not without its challenges in other words your chances are automatically reduced simply because cannabis is not legal at the federal level so whenever you’re invoking products or services that are not legal at the federal level then you are basically invoking another Cascade of questions so in the case of cannabis you have to ask yourself is this against the controlled substance act? and unfortunately in these cases it does not matter if you are registering a name for the Cannabis directly or for accessories that you could be using with cannabis because whenever it’s linked to cannabis and because cannabis like I said is not legal at the federal level you could be facing a lot more issues than if you just chose something completely unrelated to cannabis.
Now you might have better luck trying at your state levels so if in your state it is legal to you know use cannabis buy cannabis then you could potentially have better chances registering at the state level lots of times the registration of a trademark when it relates to the Cannabis industry or anything else that’s similar in nature could definitely rely on strategies you want to make sure that it’s something that has a higher likelihood of getting registered than not and there are ways to do that but like I said you can send me an email down below or I’d be happy to chat with you you can schedule the consult down below as well the Cannabis industry is very very tricky and until it becomes legal on a federal level will we see a lot easier access to acquiring Federal trademark registrations but as it stands right now there are some challenges and that’s just the lay of the land.
So if this was helpful and you think that it saved you time and money and you learned more than you knew before you started reading make sure that you tell me in the comments below what you learned from this blogpost and what you would like to read next because this is a great follow-up to the blogpost so that you keep learning about your situation and what could potentially be in your future trademark journey. I’m here for all questions scroll down into the description and contact me because I love getting to know you and your business I hope that I can help you in any way possible and if you have an idea from my next video make sure you drop it in the comments below