What is Section 2(c) Refusal - Consisting of or comprising a name, portrait, or signature identifying a particular living individual?

Photo of Tomas Orsula

Written by Tomas Orsula

Senior Trademark Attorney

A Section 2(c) refusal from the USPTO occurs when your trademark is refused registration because it consists of or includes a name, portrait, or signature that identifies a living individual without their consent.

The most common strategies to overcome a Section 2(c) refusal include the following:

  • Submitting the consent of a living individual to the USPTO,
  • Proving 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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