Trademark Identification of Goods/Services

One important step prior to filing a trademark registration application is determining what types of goods and/or services will be offered in connection with the mark. The selected goods or services will be submitted with the trademark application and will dictate the scope of protection of the registration. The choice of goods and services is crucial; the wrong choice can result in a fatally defective application or an unnecessarily limited registration.

When selecting the goods or services, it is advisable to not be overly narrow. On the other hand, if the ID of goods/services is too broad, it will get refused. The ID of goods and/or services must have clear, concise, and definite terms (in other words, the ID should use common commercial names and language that the general public easily understands).

In applications based on use, the applicant must already be using the mark in commerce in connection with all of the goods and/or services identified. In applications based on an intent to use, the applicant must assert a bona fide intent to use the mark in commerce in connection with all of the goods and/or services identified.

Keep in mind these additional points about the ID of goods/services:

  • The ID of goods/services cannot be so broad that it encompasses a substantial number of goods or services that are not actually sold in connection with the mark
  • The ID of goods/services cannot be so broad that it encompasses items in more than one class
  • The ID of goods/services should be unambiguous
  • The common understanding of words or phrases used in an identification determines the scope and nature of the goods or services

Here are a few examples of unacceptable IDs of goods/services:

  • “clothing”
  • “sports equipment”
  • “metallic parts”
  • “beauty products”

Here are a few examples of acceptable IDs of goods/services:

  • “shirts”
  • “football shoulder pads”
  • “metal door latches”
  • “lipstick”

Use our Class Search Tool to identify acceptable descriptions of goods/services and determine the corresponding class numbers.