The University of Houston recently sued Houston College of Law (formerly known as South Texas College of Law) to prevent the newly named school from using Houston in its name. The Houston College of Law responded by claiming “Houston” is not the exclusive intellectual property of UH. The USPTO will normally not register on its Principal Register a descriptive mark (which merely describes the applicant’s offerings and the place where such items are offered). To register a descriptive mark, an applicant must provide evidence that the mark developed a well-recognized secondary meaning (to identify the applicant or its offerings) in addition to its primary descriptive meaning.
Source: The Wall Street Journal
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