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We have identified an unused brand name we would like to use that is both generic and geographic in description , but put together can make for a great brand . The brand looks like " State + product / service offered " , not unlike " California Casualty . " As a startup , we are a bit concerned due to the USPTO geographical indication FAQ . " http : / / www . uspto . gov / ip / global / geographical / faq / index . jsp # heading - 7 " In the second paragraph it is mentioned that a brand can take on a secondary meaning and can then be protected as a trademark . But how would this work for a startup that has no brand recognition ? Do we operate with no trademark and hope some day USPTO will grant us registered status ? How do generic named brands do it ?http://www.uspto.gov/ip/global/geographical/faq/index.jsp#heading-7