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Q.How do I know if my domain name is generic and descriptive?

A.A domain name functioning as a trademark or service mark will be denied registration on the Principal Register if it is considered “generic” or “merely descriptive.” A domain name will be deemed “generic” if it describes the general category to which the underlying product or service belongs. For example, the term "Computer" is a generic term for computer equipment. A domain name will be deemed “merely descriptive” if it describes a characteristic of the underlying product or service, such as an “ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose or use of” the goods or services specified in the trademark application. Merely descriptive domain names will be denied registration on the Principal Register, but may be registered on the Supplemental Register.

Other examples of generic and descriptive domain names include: which provides legal information; which sells toys; which sells medication.

If your domain name is capable of being registered then you probably should file a federal trademark application. To determine whether or not your domain name is registerable, you should seek the opinion of a local trademark attorney.

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