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Business Services Division

Business Services Division > Trademarks > Trademark Booklet > What a Trademark or Servicemark Cannot Be What a Trademark or Servicemark Cannot Be

Marks that are prohibited under IC 24-2-1-3 are those that

1. Consist of or comprise immoral, deceptive or scandalous matter,

2. Consist of or comprise matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute,
 
3. Consist of or comprise the flag or coat of arms or other insignia of the United States, or of any state or municipality, or of the United Nations or any foreign nation

4. Consist of or comprise the name, signature or portrait of any living individual, except with his or her written consent,

5. Is a mark that if used on or in connection with the goods or services of the applicant, is merely descriptive or deceptively misdescriptive of the goods or services; or if used on or in connection with the goods or services of the applicant, is primarily geographically descriptive or deceptively geographically misdescriptive of the goods or services; or is primarily merely a surname.

Note:  This subdivision does not prevent the registration of a mark that is used in Indiana by the applicant and has become distinctive of the applicant's goods or services. The secretary may accept proof of continuous use of a mark by the applicant in Indiana for the five (5) years immediately preceding the date on which the claim of distinctiveness is made as evidence that the mark has become distinctive, as used on or in connection with the applicant's goods or services;

6. Is a mark that so resembles a mark registered in Indiana or a mark or trade name previously used by another person in Indiana and not abandoned, as to be likely, if used on or in connection with the goods or services of the applicant, to cause deception, confusion, or mistake.