Primarily Geographically Descriptive Trademark Law and Legal Definition

Primarily geographically descriptive trademark is a term used in the manner of a trademark that conveys to the consumer a geographical connotation primarily or immediately. If there is a chance that the consumer would believe that the goods or services come from one location, and that location is in fact the geographic origin of the underlying goods or services, then the mark is primarily geographically descriptive. Such goods can be registered on the Supplemental Register or on the Principal Register if the mark owner can demonstrate secondary meaning. However, if the geographic term is not the origin of the goods or services, and the owner of the mark intended to deceive consumers with regard to geographic origin mark, or if the mark falsely induces purchasing decisions, then the mark will be geographically deceptive. Such marks cannot be protected.

Some courts look at the intent of the mark owner, while most courts look at whether or not consumers are likely to materially rely upon the misdescription. Proving intent with direct evidence is mostly impossible. However, courts can infer from the circumstances whether or not a person had bad intent. The Lanham Act prohibits the registration of any geographical mark for wines or spirits not from the place indicated in the mark.