TM Suggestion Box: Last Call for 2015

On New Year’s Day 2016, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will release fresh and updated goods and services identifications and classifications in the U.S. Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual (ID Manual) to reflect the Nice Classification, Tenth Edition, Version 2016, effective January 1, 2016.

The ID Manual is a guide listing identification of goods and services and their respective classifications that Trademark Examining Attorneys will accept without further inquiry from a trademark applicant. Although the ID Manual does not provide an exhaustive list of acceptable identifications, it is an invaluable and easily manageable resource for attorneys to efficiently and correctly prepare trademark applications. The so-called metes-and-bounds of a trademark application, and its attendant trademark rights, are plotted by the identification of goods and recitation of services. To pass the muster of an Examining Attorney, practitioners must not draft “indefinite” or overly broad identifications Therefore, attorneys are encouraged to use the Manual as a ruler for what constitutes a “definite” identification.

As technologies evolve, so does the ID Manual. To enhance the Manual’s utility and maintain its relevance, the USPTO will entertain suggestions from the public for new identifications to include in the Manual. Anyone with a recommended addition to the Manual may submit his or her proposed identification of goods or recitation of services, via email to the Trademark ID Suggest Mailbox at tmidsuggest@uspto.gov. Use of the “suggestion box” could be worthwhile for IP attorneys with trademark/patent clients who routinely develop and brand new technologies not identified in the Manual.

Given the upcoming New Year’s Day changes to the ID Manual, the USPTO will not add to the Manual any entries to the suggestion box submitted after December 17, 2015. Suggestions submitted and approved between now and Monday, December 14, 2015, will be added to the Manual on Thursday, December 17, 2015. Suggestions submitted or approved thereafter won’t be added to the Manual until Thursday, January 7, 2016.

So, if you’re hoping to close out 2015 by adding “self-stick” to the Trademark ID Manual, better get on it: you’ve got less than a week (I checked, “wearable computers” is already acceptable).

The above image, by Hash Milhan, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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