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What to Do if Your Trademark is Rejected by USPTO

If you have received a rejection letter from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), chances are you’re feeling overwhelmed. Don’t panic! There are options available to you, and it’s important to understand them before making any decisions. Let’s take a look at what your options are if your trademark application was rejected by the USPTO.

Reasons for Rejection

Before we get into the details of what you can do after a rejection, it’s important to understand why the USPTO may reject your trademark application. The most common reasons for rejection include using an offensive term, using a generic term, or using a mark that is too similar to another mark already in use. If any of these apply to you, don’t worry—there are still many other routes to explore when trying to secure a trademark for your business.

Appeal or Amend Application

The first step after receiving a rejection letter is usually appealing or amending the application. This involves submitting additional information in support of your case, such as proof that no one else has been using the name or logo you want to trademark. It is also possible to amend certain aspects of your application in order to make it more likely that it will be accepted by the USPTO. For example, if you use language that is too generic or vague, you can amend it so that it more accurately describes your mark and distinguishes it from other trademarks in use. 

For more information about responding to USPTO Office Actions, see this page on USPTO's website.

Use Common Law Protection

If all else fails, there is always the option of relying on common law protection for your mark instead of registering with the USPTO. This means that even without registering with the USPTO, you can still protect your mark from being used by someone else as long as they are operating in the same geographic area as you. To ensure maximum protection under common law, be sure to include a symbol (such as ™) next to any logo or phrase used on products and/or advertisements that identify your business; this will help prevent others from stealing or misusing them without permission.


It can be incredibly frustrating when your trademark application is rejected by the USPTO, but there are options available for those who find themselves in this situation. You can appeal or amend your application; alternatively, relying on common law protection may be an effective way of protecting yourself and preventing someone else from using your logo or phrase without permission. No matter which route you choose, understanding how best to protect yourself and/or business should always be top priority when dealing with intellectual property matters like trademarks!

If your trademark application has been rejected, we may be able to help. Click here to learn how.

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