Trademark/Service Mark Definitions and Resctrictions



By law, the word "person" includes both a natural person (individual) and a juristic person (firm, corporation, partnership, union, association, or other organization capable of suing and being sued in a court of law).


  • On goods - When the mark is placed in any manner on the goods, their containers, associated displays, or attached tags or labels, or if that placement is impossible, on documents associated with the sale of the goods and the goods are sold or transported in commerce in West Virginia.

  • On Services - When the mark is used or displayed in the sale or advertising of services, and the services are rendered in West Virginia.


A trademark or service mark:

  • May not be immoral, deceptive or scandalous.

  • May not disparage or falsely suggest connection with persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute.

  • May not consist of or comprise the flag or coat of arms or other insignia of the United States, any state or municipality, or any foreign nation, or any simulation of these.

  • May not be the name, signature or portrait of a living individual without written consent of that person.

  • May not be deceptively misleading.

  • May not be merely descriptive or geographically descriptive.

  • May not be merely a surname.

  • May not so resemble a mark registered or a mark or trade name used and not abandoned as to cause confusion.

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