Suppose that you want to register a trademark that identifies a source of goods or services for your business. What if the trademark describes a geographical area such as eastern? Should you register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office? Can you obtain a registration from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office? The answer is YES! if the mark is not primarily geographically descriptive.
Section 2(e)(2) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §1052(e)(2), prohibits registration on the Principal Register of a mark that is primarily geographically descriptive of the goods or services named in the application. See T.M.E.P. §1210.01(a). The test for determining whether a term is primarily geographically descriptive is whether:
- the mark sought to be registered (or a portion thereof) is the name of a place generally known to the public;
- the public would make an association between the goods or services and the place named in the mark, that is, believe that the goods or services for which the mark is sought to be registered originate in the place; and
- the source of the goods or services is the geographic region named in the mark.