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What is a deceptive mark?

A deceptive mark cannot be protected by the trademark laws, nor can it be registered. This is because a deceptive mark mischaracterizes or misleads consumers about the related goods and services. This occurs where (i) the mark improperly describes some character, quality, function or use of the goods and services; and (ii) consumers are likely to believe the improper description and rely upon that improper description in making a purchasing choice. Alternatively, courts have found marks to be deceptive when the owner had an active intent to deceive the public.