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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hey gents, I’m starting to sell whatever I happen to find in demand on Amazon. I want to trademark my products with “Montana Made” – my name is Montana. Uh oh, I’m designing the goods. Uh oh. There’s a guy named Montana. Maybe he lives in Montana? I don’t know. Sounds good with the alliteration of the “M” of course.

I looked up the trademark database and “Montana Made” is trademarked twice by companies using it for media covering businesses in the state of Montana. Can I use it because I’m not using it for entertainment? Different type of class perhaps? What are your thoughts on that?

Well, first and foremost, that’s a tricky one. It seems to me that that is fairly descriptive – it’s products or services made by Montana – “JD Made,” “Matt Made.” I mean that does not really seem like a trademark. That’s descriptive of who’s providing the services or products.

Beyond that, if this individual did not live in the state of Montana, I could see the USPTO coming back asking for more information – saying, you know, “Is the service or goods related to Montana at all?” Asking for more information. And if he’s not in Montana, you could presumably also get an office action for a misdescriptive trademark because if the products don’t come from Montana and they come from New Jersey, it’s misdescriptive.

So yeah, I don’t see…stick that $250 back in your pocket my friend!

Beautiful. And thank you for coming around. It started out with “Hey this is going to be a tricky answer,” but then you gave a bulletproof solution right at the end.

Yeah, sometimes I’m like, you know, maybe it depends. But like this one, it’s like no, this is a terrible idea.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at