How do I list the products and/or services on my trademark application?
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) requires trademark applicants to list and describe all products when applying to register a trademark.
Here are some important guidelines to follow when writing a list of products and/or services for a trademark registration application:
- Divide products and services into categories. The USPTO separates products and services by categories, called "classes." Here is a list of USPTO classes and their general descriptions.
- Name the class first, followed by all products or services that fall within that class. For instance, if you are selling a line of hats with your trademark, you should list "Clothing, namely hats." (Clothing is the class, and hats are the specific products.) If you have more products that fit within the same class, the format is the same, like "Clothing, namely hats, shirts, scarves and socks." Do not list products that fall into other classes without naming that next class first. So, if you've listed all clothing items and are planning to sell motorcycles as well, you would list "Clothing, namely hats" as your first class. You would then separately list "Motor vehicles, namely motorcycles" as your second class and products within that class. (Vehicles is the class, motorcycles are the products.) Note: Each additional class requires an additional $385, which includes the USPTO filing fee.
- Be specific and concise. Be as specific and clear as possible in your descriptions of your products and/or services. There's no need to tell a story-just list and describe what you are selling or planning to sell in connection with your trademark. For example, "Computer graphics software" is better than "Computer software" alone, and "Consulting services in the field of energy efficiency" is better than "Consulting services" alone.
- Avoid leaving your description open-ended.This means avoiding words and phrases like "including," "including but not limited to," "such as," and "etc." within your description. For example, do not write, "Clothing, namely hats, scarves, gloves, etc." or "Clothing, such as hats." The USPTO requires you to be complete in your listing of all the products and services as to which you want to register a trademark in your current application.
- List only services that you are selling to others-not activities that you engage in to promote or conduct your own business. For services, make sure that you list the services you are providing to others. For example, list "Advertising" only if you are providing advertising services for other people or companies - not if you are only advertising your own business.
- Do not list items not sold to the public. As with services, only list products that you are selling to others-not materials you use to promote or conduct your own business. For example, do not list promotional or corporate items that are not being sold to the public, such as company brochures, letterhead, or employee uniforms.
- Do not list products or services you don't plan on selling. Do not include products or services that you are not, nor have a real intention of, selling in the future. If you falsely identify anything on your application, your application may be rejected or your registration later cancelled. If you apply on an "intent-to-use" basis as to any products or services, you should be sure to have materials that can prove your real intent to sell these things, and that you had that real intent as of your filing date. Such materials can include business plans, mock-ups of products and other items that would show that you are working towards the sales you claim to have planned.
- Do not include a trademark name. Do not include a trademark name (yours or anyone else's) in your description of products and/or services. For example, if your trademark is "Ducktail" for motorcycles, do not list "Ducktail motorcycles" as your product-list "Motor vehicles, namely motorcycles." Rather than "Computer game software for use on iPhones," list "Computer game software for use on mobile and cellular phones."
To view more examples of acceptable descriptions from the USPTO, click here.
If registered, your trademark will be protected for use in connection with the products and services listed in your trademark application. If you plan to apply for and protect your trademark to cover different products and/or services later, you will need to submit a new application for the additional items at a later time.