mere descriptiveness

a statutory basis for refusing registration of trademarks and service marks because the proposed mark merely describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose or use of the specified goods or services.

The major reasons for not protecting descriptive marks are:

  1. to prevent the owner of a mark from inhibiting competition in the sale of particular goods or services; and
  2. to maintain freedom of the public to use the language involved, thus avoiding the possibility of harassing infringement suits by the registrant against others who use the mark when advertising or describing their own products.

See also descriptive mark.