Filing a Federal Trademark Application FAQ
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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.