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  • Writer's pictureTodd

Trademark Disclaimers



The USPTO may ask you to disclaim certain wording in your mark if it merely describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose, or use of applicant’s goods and/or services. 


One example can be the entity designation. If your mark is Arbitrary Company, you will likely have to disclaim the word Company.


The language of the disclaimer would say: No claim is made to the exclusive right to use “COMPANY” apart from the mark as shown.


In other words, you would be able to enforce your Arbitrary Company mark, but you could not stop someone from using “Company” by itself.


Some other examples of words that may need to be disclaimed include CONFERENCE, HOTEL, RESTAURANT, SCHOOL, etc.


It wouldn’t be particularly strong, but sometimes you may want to just protect your logo or stylized lettering. For example, the below registration for stylized TROPICAL JUICE BAR disclaims the word elements of the mark.



Tropical Juice Bar logo trademark registration certificate

You can make a disclaimer in your application, but you can also wait until the Examining Attorney examines your application. Typically, if that’s the only issue they find in the application, they may call you to see if you’d agree to an Examiner’s Amendment without them having to issue a formal Office Action.


There may be times that you would want to push back on an Examiner asking you to make a disclaimer, so be sure to talk to your trademark attorney about that.


Please note that the information contained in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and not as specific legal advice. The facts of your situation may differ from this general information. It is not intended to and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship.


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