What Can You Not Trademark?



You can trademark a lot of things, but there are a few things that are not allowed to be trademarked. Some things aren’t allowed to be trademarked to avoid false advertising and others because they are too generic. Here are seven marks that can not be registered for trademark protection.  What Can You Not Trademark

  1. You can not register marks or words that describe or indicates a living person, without that person’s consent.
  2. You can not register marks that depict flags or seal of the states, the United States, or other countries.
  3. You can not register marks that are inherently offensive or obscene.
  4. You can not register marks that are generic that simply name a type or class or product or service. For example, you can’t trademark “lamp” for a company that makes lamps.
  5. You can not register marks that are misleading about the geographic production location. Meaning you can’t trademark Arizona coffee mugs, if the mugs are actually made in Pennsylvania.
  6. You can not register marks that are reasonably thought to be misleading about the product or service.
  7. You can not register marks that trick buyers into thinking the product or service is associated with a person or other company, without consent.

Knowing what can and can’t be trademarked isn’t an easy job. As Arizona trademark lawyers, we help inventors and entrepreneurs get trademarks, patents, and copyrights that protect their company from all kinds of infringements. If you need help securing a trademark call Parsons & Goltry today.


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"Mr. Goltry took a provisional patent that we'd filed ourselves, and quickly and professionally turned our innovation into U.S. and foreign applications. His [patent claims] were a thing of beauty, and I was amazed by how deftly he countered the inevitable office actions. His language held up, and the U.S. Patent just issued. He was easy and efficient to work with, and his fees were remarkably reasonable. We're not planning to go anywhere else, ever."

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Our office is located in Scottsdale, Arizona, but we service clients throughout the United States and Internationally.

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