When protecting your brand it’s important to know about trademark disclaimers and office actions. Specifically, what it means to disclaim a part of your trademark, why, when you should do so, and what office actions can come about.

Insight into the trademark process

The trademark application process is long, tedious, and a lot of things can come up along the way.  Typically your trademark application will be assigned to an examining attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office about three months after you submit the application. This is the person who will be evaluating your application to ensure your trademark is available and eligible for registration. The examining attorney will issue an office action if there are any issues with your trademark application. One of the most common reasons you might receive an office action is for a trademark disclaimer requirement.

You must be wondering what exactly is a trademark disclaimer?

Well, trademark disclaimers are different than the ordinary disclaimers you hear of in business or the legal world; it’s not like a disclaimer you’d use to avoid liability. That said, a trademark disclaimer is a statement that you (the applicant or owner) do not claim the specific right to use element(s) of a trademark. Usually, this happens when the trademark contains words that are merely descriptive, generic, or don’t function as a trademark. In other words, the purpose of the disclaimer is to permit the registration of the trademark that’s registerable as a whole BUT contains elements that may not be registerable on their own.

Tune in to this week’s episode of All Up In Yo’ Business to hear more about trademark office actions and disclaiming your trademark. And be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more All Up In Yo’ Business! 

Want more information on trademarks? Check out: Common Trademark Mistakes To Avoid.