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Grounds For Refusal

The TRADEMARK REGISTRY will refuse to register a mark if it does not function as a trademark or service mark.

Not all words, names, symbols or devices function as trademarks. For example, names which merely describe the goods on which it is used cannot be registered. You cannot register the mark "computer", for example, for a laptop computer .

Additionally, Section 9, Section 11, Section 13,section 80 of the Trademark Act contains several of the most common (though not the only) grounds for refusing registration. The grounds for refusal under Section 2 Section 9, Section 11, Section 13, Section 80 may be summarized as:

1. The proposed mark consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter

2. The proposed mark may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons (living or dead), institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute

3. The proposed mark consists of or comprises the flag or coat of arms, or other insignia of a country, or of any State or municipality, or of any foreign nation

4. The usage of the proposed mark is prohibited under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use )Act,1950

5. The proposed mark so resembles a mark already registered in the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) that use of the mark on applicant's goods or services are likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception

6. The proposed mark is merely descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of applicant's goods or services

7. The proposed mark is primarily geographically descriptive or deceptively geographically misdescriptive of applicant's goods or services

8. The proposed mark is primarily merely a surname; and

9. Matter that, as a whole, is functional.

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