What happens if my trademark is dismissed due to geographical descriptiveness?

Photo of Jan Buza

Written by Jan Buza

Co-founder of Trama

If the USPTO dismisses your trademark application on the grounds of Section 2(e)(2) due to being geographically descriptive of the origin of your goods or services, it means your registration will be put on hold until you can resolve the issue or the time for responding runs out.

Section 2(e)(2) office actions are issued rarely, but if they occur, they are difficult to overcome. To overcome this refusal, you can consider the following options:

  • Proving the term identifying an actual geographical location is not of primary significance within your mark and the mark contains other strong and distinct elements,
  • Proving there is no significant association between the location and your goods/services, meaning purchasers wouldn't be likely to believe the goods/services originate in the said location,
  • Proving purchasers are not likely to be deceived by the geographic term, for example, by submitting consumer surveys,
  • Amending the application and leave out the geographical element, if possible,
  • Seeking registration on the Supplemental Register instead of the Principal Register, which offers a lower level of legal protection but might be more attainable.

If you received a Section 2(e)(2) refusal, it's advisable to consult a trademark attorney who can go through your options with you and advise on the best course of action.

Advice icon

Haven't found what you are looking for?

Our team of experienced trademark attorneys is here to help you! Simply send us an email outlining your request and we'll be happy to assist you.