Have a couple questions I'm hoping some can help me with.
I understand that it's difficult to trademark a Surname in the U.S. unless it's rare or unique. My first question is if you add a common word to the trademark application with the Surname (ie. Bogart or Tillmore), is it possible to get approved to a trademark then? Example: "Bogart's stew" or "Tillmore's grits" if nobody else is using it or will it also be denied for Surname or descriptive?
Second: What if a U.S. trademark for a surname was approved in the past but has been been expired for almost a decade. Is there a way to take over that trademark, since it was once approved, and submit a trademark application for that Surname (without having any relation to that name or trademark)? Say there was a business open for decades called "Tillmore's" but the business closed and the trademark has expired over 5 years after the business closed and there's been no use of that trademark for over 3 years that can be found with doing a search? Can someone get a trademark of that surname, since it was once registered but now expired, even though it's a surname and would be denied on regular surname grounds? Here's an example of what I'd like to do. Tillmore's for a diner and Tillmore's grits for a dish they were known for where both trademarked, but the diner closed and the trademarks have expired and there's no place that has been making Tillmore's grits for years that can be found doing a search for. Say I wanted to resurrect the Tillmore brand and produce Tillmore's grits. I know that if I just went about doing this without a trademark and it becomes successful, someone else could do the same with the same name and refer to the original name as their inspiration and not from the recent success of me bringing back that name, so I'd rather secure the trademark first before going about making "Tillmore's grits" (or the original trademark owner sees the success and decides to bring back their own "Tillmore's grits" even though they let the trademark expire). So I received a E.U. trademark for Tillmore's and apply for a U.S. trademark for Tillmore's but get "Surname" denial. Is there a way to get the trademark in the U.S. approved for "Tillmore" or should I try to apply for a "Tillmore's grits" trademark or would that probably be denied also?
Third: Is there any way to obtain a U.S. trademark on the grounds that you already own a foreign trademark (ie., E.U. trademark with Paris Convention or BeNeLux Trademark with Madrid Protocol if that makes a difference) for a Surname (Surnames generally are allowed in E.U. trademarks: frkelly.com/surnames-as-trade-marks-eutm-regulation )? Or for descriptive word names (ie., San Francisco Sandwiches)? What I'm asking is is there some kind of loophole or rule that applies if you own the trademark in a foreign location that will allow you to obtain that trademark in the U.S. for the same goods and services, even if it would usually be denied in the U.S. for either Surname or descriptive words? I'm wondering this partly because I notice a business that opened up recently seems to have a descriptive name approved "Hollywood Burger" that I would think would be denied (ie., Hollywood Sandwich). On this topic, I learned a bit about E.U. and Benelux trademarks through trial and error recently. For example: I tried to trademark a "new" word by combining two words that are usually used separate (ie., picture frame as pictureframe = denied, unless the new combined word is considered an "unusual combination" : boip.int/wps/portal/site/trademarks/what-is/what-not/no-distinctiveness/!ut/p/a0/04_Sj9CPykssy0xPLMnMz0vMAfGjzOKdg5w8HZ0MHQ0szFwMDTxdLQLMg919DUzdjfSDU_P0C7IdFQHin0VY/ and out-law.com/page-4297 ) but was denied still as descriptive. But I also learned that what might be denied as descriptive in a BeNeLux trademark (ie., San Francisco Burger may be denied in BeNeLux, but get approved in the E.U.), might be approved in a E.U. trademark rather oddly (or this could be a loophole I accidentally discovered).
Appreciate any responses.