What is a “Primarily Geographically Deceptively Misdescriptive” refusal?

A “Primarily Geographically Deceptively Misdescriptive” refusal is a type of refusal issued by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) during the trademark registration process. The USPTO refuses registration of a trademark that it believes is primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive, meaning that the trademark gives a false impression as to the geographic origin of goods or services. This type of refusal is issued under Trademark Act Section 2(e)(3), which prohibits the registration of trademarks that are deceptive as to the geographic origin of goods or services. This can result in consumer confusion and thus, the trademark is refused registration.

To overcome this refusal, the following options can be considered:

  1. Modify the trademark: Consider modifying the trademark so that it is not primarily geographically deceptively misdescriptive. This can involve changing the wording, adding or removing geographic terms, etc.
  2. Provide Evidence of Acquired Distinctiveness: Submit evidence showing that the trademark has acquired distinctiveness through long and continuous use. This can be in the form of customer surveys, media coverage, etc.
  3. Show that the Geographical Reference is Not Deceptive: Provide evidence that the geographical reference is not deceptive. This can be done by showing that the goods or services do not originate from the location indicated by the trademark, or that consumers are not likely to be confused about the geographical origin of the goods or services.
  4. Provide Evidence of Registration for Similar Trademarks: Submit evidence of registration for similar trademarks that have been granted despite the geographical connotation.

It is important to consult with a trademark attorney to determine the best course of action and to ensure that the response is in compliance with USPTO requirements.