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Trademark search and descriptive name

Los Angeles, CA |

Is it possible to trademark the term womenentrepreneurs? I did a search on the USPTO with this term and was surprised to see that already people have trademarked this term? How can this be?

Attorney Answers 3

  1. The name may have acquired secondary meaning, among other possibilities.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.

  2. Yes indeed a phrase like this can be registered as a trademark. It is descriptive, but it probably is not generic. While it is improper to register a generic word or phrase as a trademark ("escalator"), descriptive phrases can be registered and enforced, particularly where they are associated with strong "secondary meaning" in the minds of consumers. This does not mean that it would be easy to enforce such a trademark in court against infringers. The fair use doctrine might allow broad use of the phrase "woman entrepreneurs" for many purposes even if such use would theoretically conflict with the trademark. Nonetheless, there is nothing unusual or improper about trademark registration for a descriptive trademark such as "womenentrepreneurs".

  3. I would have thought this was descriptive, if not generic, myself, but as has been pointed out, it could have acquired secondary meaning through consistent long term and well advertised use by a party in one or more classes.

    Having done zero research, I would have expected efforts to register a mark like "Women Entrepreneurs" to start out on the "Secondary Register" - after five years there it will be presumed to have acquired secondary meaning - during which time a registrant can use the circled R to identify it - and then the mark could be moved to the principal register.

    In any case, was it spelled all one word exactly as you wrote it? Was it stylized in some way? Sometimes these kinds of tweaks help a bit - but not always.

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