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NC SOS

Registration Appeal Process

Denial of Registration of a Mark
If the Director of the Trademarks Registration Office finds the applicant’s mark is not entitled to registration, the Director shall advise the applicant in writing of the reasons why the mark is not entitled to registration; this is an "initial refusal." The applicant shall have a reasonable period of time, with a specified expiration date determined by the Director, to submit a Request for Reconsideration of the "initial refusal".
Request for Reconsideration

The Director shall examine and review any documents, additional specimens or any other evidence submitted by the applicant as part of its Request for Reconsideration. If the applicant submits documentation and evidence that warrants a reversal of the "initial refusal", the Director will approve registration of the mark. However, if the applicant fails to submit its Request for Reconsideration by the expiration date, the application shall be deemed to have been abandoned. Should the applicant still desire to register the trademark or service mark in North Carolina after the abandonment, a new registration application, set of specimens and $75.00 filing fee must be submitted.

If the Request for Reconsideration is submitted by the specified expiration date, and after examining and reviewing the documentation and evidence submitted with the applicant's Request for Reconsideration, the Director determines that the mark still cannot be approved for registration, the Director will send the case file to the Assistant Director of Policy & Government Relations (ADP&GR) for review.

Review of Request for Reconsideration by Assistant Director of Policy & Government Relations

Upon review, if the Assistant Director of Policy & Government Relations agrees with the denial of the applicant’s Request for Reconsideration, the file goes back to the Trademarks Director. The Director shall advise the applicant in writing of the reasons why the Agency determined that the mark is not entitled to registration and issued a “final refusal”.

If the Assistant Director of Policy & Government Relations disagrees with the Director’s decision to issue a “final refusal”, and believes a reversal is in order, the case file then goes to a three-person review committee made up of 1) the Director of the Trademarks Registration Office, 2) the Assistant Director of Policy & Government Relations, and 3) the Assistant Secretary of Policy & Government Relations.

Review of Request for Reconsideration by Review Committee
The committee will meet for final review and decision-making. Following the committee’s decision, the Director of the Trademarks Registration Office will communicate a final Agency decision to the applicant.
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