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Identification of Specific Goods/Services

Specific Goods and/or Services Overview

As you work your way through the trademark application process with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you encounter a section where you are required to provide a description of the specific goods/services for which registration is sought. Why is this important? Simply put, it is what the USPTO examining attorney will use to compare to other trademark registrations or trademark applications to determine whether there is a conflict.

USPTO Comparison Situations Explained

The comparisons occur in two types of situations and depends on your intent.

  • Based on Use in Commerce: You must already be using the trademark in commerce on or in connection with all the goods and/or services listed.
  • Based on Intent to Use, on a Foreign Application, or a Request for Extension of Protection of International Registration: You must have a bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce on or in connection with all the listed goods and/or services.

Specify Goods and Services

When specifying the goods and/or services, use clear, concise terms, i.e., common commercial names and language that the general public easily understands. If you fail to list any recognizable goods or services, the USPTO will return your application and refund your fee.

Please note that the terms in the classification listing of goods and services in the USPTO's "International Schedule of Classes of Goods and Services" are generally too broad and should not be used alone as an identification. Also, an international class number alone is never an acceptable listing.

For a listing of acceptable wording for goods and services, see the USPTO's "Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual." Because wording is extremely important on the application, it is a good idea to seek the advice of a skilled attorney before submitting your application.

Can I Change the Goods and/or Services After Filing my Application?

Simply put it is very difficult. Once you've filed your federal trademark registration application, the die is cast, so to speak. You can clarify or limit the goods and/or services. However, in terms of amendments, you may not expand or broaden the identification of goods and/or services after filing the application.

This is why is it important that you file the application correctly the first time to avoid any costly mistakes. Always properly spell, space, punctuate, hyphenate, design, and color any materials you are submitting. Quadruple check that the trademark is correct. This is a perfectly acceptable time to let your obsessive-compulsive tendencies shine through.

Get Legal Advice on Your Trademark Application

Trademark applications take time and effort. Why not be as through and precise as you possibly can be? Hiring a business and commercial law attorney who specializes in trademark law is a great first step. A trademark attorney can help you file out the application, search databases, and more. Don't wait until your application is denied.

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