What is a Disclaimer?

It is very common for Office Actions from the USPTO to contain a requirement for a disclaimer. A disclaimer is a part of a trademark which you are unable to register. This does not mean that your mark will not register or be protected, nor does it mean the disclaimed portions will be ignored when comparing your mark to those which may conflict with it. It only means that a portion of what you are trying to claim will only be protected as it relates to your entire mark. In other words, your exclusive rights for the disclaimed portion only apply to the context of the entire mark and not by itself. This will not impact your rights as far as your entire mark is concerned. Disclaimers are usually necessary for generic words, descriptive terms, or ornamental designs. Do not fret if the Office Action issued by the examiner has a disclaimer requirement. Disclaiming necessary parts of your trademark is very routine procedure and many registered marks have parts which are disclaimed.

This blog is not legal advice and is not specific to your application. You should always consult an attorney.