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Can a trademark be declined if it disparages beliefs?

##Can a trademark be declined if it contains words that may be taken to disparage a belief?

This is from a legal website regarding reasons for trademarks being refused:
The proposed trademark may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons (living or dead), institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute. This seems remarkably broad. If there were a well-known, widely accepted belief and the word "real" or "true" were put in front of that belief, would that be grounds for refusal under the statement above?

~ New Mexico

Yes, trademarks are refused for suggesting false designation of origin or false connection. Trademarks help to protect the consumer from becoming confused about who is providing goods or services. If you select a trademark that confuses a consumer into thinking that the goods or services emanate from (or are connected to) you, but they really originate from another source, it can be rejected on these grounds.

Trademarks can also be refused for disparaging others. The words "real" and "true" (if used by themselves) do not suggest to me any false connection, rather the opposite, that this is the official origin. However, I am also sure that I could use "real" and "true" in a way that would create a false suggestion of connection to another institution or another source. From your question, it is unclear why you would be concerned that the word "real" or "true" could be used to disparage a belief.

This is the type of issue that can be researched before filing. For example, a trademark attorney can search past US Trademark Office appeals from refusals that relate to similar situations. Also, there could be other rules, regulations or procedures that give additional or more specific guidance. In short, this rule may or may not be the most specific rule to your situation.

If you plan to represent yourself before the US Trademark Office, it may be a good idea to review the applicable statute (15 USC 1125), regulations (CFRs), procedures (TMEP) and TTAB proceedings that interpret these issues. This is all available at the US Trademark Office website.

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