Possible Grounds for Refusal of a Mark
The US Patent and Trade Mark Office has the jurisdiction to register Trade mark, service mark and patent. The followings are common grounds for refusal of a Mark.
Likelihood of ConfusionIn evaluating an application, the examining attorney conducts a search of USPTO records to determine whether there is a conflict between the mark in the application and a mark that is either registered or pending in the USPTO. Conflict exists when the marks are similar and the goods and or services related such that consumers would mistakenly believe they come from the same source.
Note that the ground of refusal is likelihood of confusion, not mere similarity. The examining attorney will a likelihood of confusion when the goods and/or services upon which or in connection with the marks are used are, in fact, related in such a manner that consumers are likely to assume (mistakenly) that they come from a common source.
Merely Descriptive and Deceptively MisdescriptiveThe examining attorney will refuse registration of a mark as merely descriptive if it immediately describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose or use of the specified goods or services.