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What happens if my trademark application is rejected?

After reviewing your federal trademark application, the examining attorney at the Patent and Trademark Office may decide to reject your application, either because it is likely to be confused with other marks or because of procedural issues. The examining attorney will then issue what is known as an “office action,” which notifies you that the application has been provisionally rejected. At this point, you have an opportunity to respond to the office action, correcting any procedural errors and explaining why the application should be granted. Your response must be made within six months from when the office action was mailed. If you do not file a response in time, your application will be deemed abandoned and the PTO will issue a notice of abandonment.

After reviewing your response the office action, the examining attorney may agree that the trademark should be registered, and your application will then be granted. Alternatively, the examining attorney may decide that the application should still be rejected, and he will issue a final refusal. If the application is subject to such a final refusal and you still wish to pursue it, you can appeal to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, a court-like branch of the Patent and Trademark Office.