I applied for a trademark for the product name “Tableware Cleaner”. It was denied as being to generically descriptive. Would I be allowed to amend it to “The Instant Tableware Cleaner” under the same application, or would I have to file a new one? Thank you.

~ Champaign, IL

Probably not. Amending a trademark will not typically overcome a refusal because any allowed amendment may not materially alter the trademark. So, changes can be made to the trademark, so long as, the changes do not “materially alter” the mark. For example, the trademark amendment you suggest would require the Trademark Examiner to start over with a new search, and possibly write another trademark office action with a new ground of refusal. That is a significant change.

Some examples of “amendments that do not materially alter the mark” might include:

  1. Including a particular font, especially if the font was used in the trademark sample.
  2. Including color, especially if the font was used in the trademark sample.
  3. Correcting of a spelling error, especially if the trademark was spelled correctly in the trademark sample.
  4. Deleting a font or color, so that the trademark would be in standard form.

For more information see the following Trademark Office Rules and Procedures: