How is my trademark application reviewed?
When a trademark application is filed with the Patent and Trademark Office, an PTO lawyer known as an examining attorney will review the application to determine if it complies with the federal trademark rules and regulations. The examining attorney will conduct a trademark search of other federally registered marks to see if the mark in the application conflicts with prior marks. Specifically, the examining attorney will look for any similarity between the application mark and prior marks, and for any such similar marks which they find, they will look at whether the goods and services of each mark are commercially related. If the examining attorney determines that there are one or more prior marks that are similar enough that they are likely to be confused, the application will be rejected.
The examining attorney will also examine the written application to ensure that the mark is an appropriate word, slogan, design, etc. to be registered. The application can be rejected if the examining attorney determines, among other things, that: (i) the mark is primarily merely descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive; (ii) the mark is primarily geographically deceptive; (iii) the application is misdescriptive of the goods and services; or (iv) the mark is merely ornamental.