How can I overcome a Section 2(c) refusal of my trademark application?

Photo of Jan Buza

Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

If the USPTO dismissed your trademark application on the grounds of Section 2(c), it means the mark includes a name, portrait, or signature that identifies a living individual without their consent.

To overcome a Section 2(c) refusal, you can consider the following options:

  • Submitting the consent of a living individual to the USPTO,
  • Correct the examiner if the mark doesn't identify a particular individual,
  • Proving the transformative nature and secondary meaning of the mark.

Generally, a Section 2(c) refusal isn't hard to overcome. For the first two options, the examiner will provide a proper format of the response for you to use. However, it might still be advisable to consult the office action with a trademark attorney.

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