Deceptive Marks Law and Legal Definition

Deceptive marks are marks that mislead the consumers as to the nature or the origin of the goods and services. They do not clearly define the nature of the goods and consumers rely on them for their purchases. Deceptive marks cannot be registered as trademarks because they mischaracterize or mislead consumers as to the underlying product. A mark can be considered as deceptive under circumstances such as:

when a mark misdescribes the character, quality, function, composition or use of the underlying product,

the purchasers are likely to believe that the misdescription actually describes the goods, and

purchasers are likely to rely upon the misdescription in making their purchasing decision

If the mark is misleading, but does not qualify for being a deceptive mark because, the mark's owner had no bad intent, or because there is not likely to be any reliance by purchasers on the misleading description, then the mark is a deceptively misdescriptive mark.

Pursuant to 15 USCS § 1052, there is an absolute bar to the registration of deceptive matter on either the Principal Register or the Supplemental Register. Deceptive marks include marks that falsely describe the material content of a product, and marks that are geographically deceptive.