FOCUS: Intellectual Property

Resourceful Resolution of the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Refusal to Register Client’s Trademark

A client who provides back office cloud-based solutions for medical practices wanted to register its trademarks that included an orange plus sign. The examining attorney at the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued an Office Action, refusing to allow the registration of the trademarks, citing a likelihood of confusion with the American Red Cross symbol.

GCT felt it was important to fully understand what possible concerns the American Red Cross might have, so prior to responding to the Office Action, we reached out to the legal department of the American Red Cross. We were able to negotiate an agreement between our client and the American Red Cross that permitted our client to proceed with a modification to the color of its plus sign, and also allowed our client time to update its trademarks with the revised color selection.

Our approach gave us a conclusive solution to the Office Action. By submitting the settlement agreement in our response to the Office Action, the examining attorney was satisfied that no likelihood of confusion will occur and withdrew the refusals. This allowed the trademark applications to proceed to registration.

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