trademark application rejection

If a United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examining attorney believes a trademark does not meet the trademark registration requirements, the trademark application will likely be rejected. This could be due to several reasons, such as the likelihood of confusion between the trademark and another registered mark, the mark’s failure to function as a trademark, or the trademark being seen as descriptive or generic. However, if your trademark application has been rejected, you may have options in this situation. In this blog post, we will review these options by explaining what happens if your trademark application is rejected.

The Trademark Application Has Been Rejected 

The USPTO issues a final rejection for a trademark application only after they have issued at least one non-final office action. Non-final office actions are issued to notify applicants of any problems with their application. If the applicant of the trademark application does not correct these problems, they may receive a final office action. A final office action is USPTO’s last warning. If an individual fails to respond appropriately to this action, it can lead to abandonment of the trademark application. A trademark application may also be considered abandoned if an individual does not respond in a timely manner to a non-final office action or final office action.

What Is an Abandoned Trademark Application

Per the USPTO, an abandoned trademark is one that is no longer active or pending. Consequently, the trademark being applied for cannot mature into a registration unless the application is revived or reinstated. 

However, if a trademark application has been unintentionally abandoned, the applicant may be able to “revive” the application. By taking this approach, the applicant is able to have a second chance to address the issues linked to their trademark application. 

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board

Once an applicant has received a final office action, they may be able to submit an appeal with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB). The TTAB primarily focuses on legal problems associated with trademark registrations.  These applicants will have six months to file their TTAB appeal after receiving a final office action. If the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board rejects the appeal, the applicant will have a month after the decision to request reconsideration from the board.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

If a trademark application has been rejected, applicants have the final option of submitting an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. With this appeal, the court will have to review the USPTO’s and TTAB’s decisions before making their own decision on whether either party made an error. 

Submit a New Application

Instead of attempting to get the trademark application approved, some applicants may decide to change or revise their trademark and then submit a new trademark application. 

However, it is important to remember that when you decide to rebrand, you may need to update your websites, product packaging, and marketing materials, which may significantly increase costs. That is why, before pursuing any of these options, consider discussing your situation with an experienced trademark attorney to determine which course of action may be best. 

Contact TM Law Today To Review Your Legal Options

Although a rejected trademark application may result in significant roadblocks for a trademark owner, the issues may be more manageable than many think. However, applicants need to realize that they must respond to these situations quickly to minimize delays. 

That is why if you want to learn more about trademark application rejections or to review your legal options, contact TM Law today.