Q: Hello, I see that Howard University is trademarked. Am I able to just use "Howard" or "Bowie" without adding the word U
A: It's going to depend on the actual mark, but "Howard" and "Bowie" themselves are weak marks and will likely not be granted a trademark. "Howard" is a common first and surname and "Bowie" is a location. The USPTO does not grant trademarks to generic or descriptive marks. Strong marks are "fanciful" or "arbitrary" as defined by US trademark law. You should reach out to a business or intellectual property attorney in your area to help create a strong mark for your company. Good luck!
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