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Frequently Asked Questions

What are some other exclusions to consider when developing a trademark?

When developing a trademark, there are several exclusions to consider beyond the obvious ones like avoiding offensive language or graphics, generic trademarks, and indistinguishable or weak marks. It's important to examine the long list of exclusions to ensure the development of a unique and appropriate mark. Some of these additional exclusions include previously used media titles, national emblems, and foreign words that translate to generic descriptions of the product. Geographical descriptions are also excluded from being used as trademarks. This is because they’re considered weak marks and may not be registered without first proving that consumers are familiar with the mark and associate it with your goods or services, thus granting it "secondary meaning." Another exclusion to consider is marks describing a functional feature. A functional feature is something so essential to the type of product or service that it cannot be considered unique to a particular brand. For example, wheels are so essential to the functioning of a car that they may not be used in a trademark for a car model.
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