Overview of common failure-to-function refusals

Overview of common failure-to-function refusals

The video recording of this expired event is posted above. You can watch recordings of all past Trademarks Webinar Series presentations on the Trademarks Webinar Series page.

Also available is a PDF of the presentation slides featuring legal citations and cases. Also included with the webinar was a handout of useful terms and concepts.

Are you filing trademark applications involving sound recordings, t-shirts, or books? Would you like to learn more about less-common bars to federal trademark registration? If so, you'll want to register for this free webinar on Tuesday, March 28, from 2-3:30 p.m. ET. We'll provide an in-depth discussion of failure-to-function refusals and how to respond when your mark fails to indicate the source of your goods or services. Specifically, we'll cover: 

  • Ornamentation
  • Titles of single works
  • Names of authors and performing artists
  • Goods in trade or service for others

We’ll also cover best practices for selecting appropriate specimens and tips to consider before filing your application.

A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation. You may submit your questions before the event to TMWebinar@uspto.gov.

This webinar will use a high degree of legal terminology and concepts familiar to experienced trademark professionals, but we encourage trademark filers of all experience levels to attend. We'll post a recording of this event here and on the Trademarks Webinar Series page within three weeks of the event. All registrants will receive an email with the video link when it is ready.

Register today


  • Kevin Peska, Managing Attorney, Office of Trademark Quality Review and Training
  • Jason Lott, Managing Attorney, Trademarks Customer Outreach

For more information, contact TMWebinar@uspto.gov.

Accessibility accommodation


If you are an individual with a disability and would like to request a reasonable accommodation, please submit your request to the contact information listed above.

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Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

Applied for CLE credit in

If a state is not listed, contact your state bar to see if you can obtain credit in your state. Participants who attend the live session will receive a certificate of attendance and presentation materials for acquiring CLE credit in other states.

This event is part of a series: Trademarks Webinar Series