Filing a Federal Trademark Application FAQ
What types of trademarks are ineligible for federal registration?
3. What types of trademarks are ineligible for federal registration?
The USPTO won't register any marks that contain:
- names of living persons, unless they have given their consent
- the U.S. flag
- other federal and local governmental insignias
- the name or likeness of a deceased U.S. President, unless his widow has given consent, or
- words or symbols that disparage living or deceased persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols.
Nor is the USPTO supposed to register marks that are judged immoral, deceptive, or scandalous. As a general rule, however, the USPTO takes a liberal view of the terms "immoral" and "scandalous" and will rarely refuse to register a mark on those grounds.
In addition, the USPTO will not register marks that are used only in one state; a trademark must be used to offer good or services for sale in more than one state to qualify for federal trademark protection.