TMEP 1301.01(b)(iii): Publishing One’s Own Periodical

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1301.01(b)(iii)    Publishing One’s Own Periodical

The publication of one’s own periodical is not a service, because it is done primarily for applicant’s own benefit and not for the benefit of others. In re Billfish Int’l Corp., 229 USPQ 152 (TTAB 1986) (activities of collecting, distributing, and soliciting information relating to billfishing tournaments for a periodical publication not a separate service, because these are necessary preliminary activities that a publisher must perform prior to publication and sale of publication); In re Alaska Nw. Publ'g Co., 212 USPQ 316 (TTAB 1981) (title of magazine section not registrable for magazine publishing services, because the activities and operations associated with designing, producing, and promoting applicant’s own product are ancillary activities that would be expected by purchasers and readers of any magazine); In re Landmark Commc'ns, Inc., 204 USPQ 692 (TTAB 1979) (title of newspaper section not registrable as service mark for educational or entertainment service, because collected articles, stories, reports, comics, advertising, and illustrations are indispensable components of newspapers without which newspapers would not be sold); In re Television Digest, Inc., 169 USPQ 505 (TTAB 1971) (calculating advertising rates for a trade publication not a registrable service, because this is an integral part of the production or operation of any publication).

However, providing advertising space in one’s own periodical may be a registrable service, if the advertising activities are sufficiently separate from the applicant’s publishing activities. In re Forbes Inc., 31 USPQ2d 1315 (TTAB 1994) ("providing advertising space in a periodical" held to be a registrable service, where the advertising services were rendered to a different segment of the public under a different mark than the mark used to identify applicant’s magazines); In re Home Builders Ass’n of Greenville, 18 USPQ2d 1313 (TTAB 1990) (real estate advertising services rendered by soliciting advertisements and publishing a guide comprising the advertisements of others held to be a registrable service, where advertising was found to be the applicant’s primary activity, and the customers who received the publication were not the same as those to whom the advertising services were rendered).