TMEP 1402.03(e): Identifying Publications with Specificity

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1402.03(e)    Identifying Publications with Specificity

When the goods are publications, the identification must indicate both the specific physical nature and the literary subject matter of the publication.

Example - “Magazine devoted to medicine” is acceptable.

Example - “Television programming newsletter” is acceptable.

In the case of publications of a specialized nature, the identification should describe the goods by specific names or wording that explains their specialized nature.

Example - “Children’s storybooks” is acceptable.

Even if the mark itself indicates the subject of a publication, the identification must specify the subject matter.

As a general rule, “books” should be described by subject matter or class of purchasers (e.g., exercise books or children’s books). In the case of a mark used by a publishing house on books, a general identification, such as “a house mark for books” or “a full line of books” is sufficient if supported by the record. However, if the goods are restricted to certain types of literature, such as science fiction, engineering, romance, or poetry, the identification should so indicate. The applicant may also indicate the channels of trade or groups of purchasers for the goods.

When the subject matter is not a significant aspect of a publication, such as with in-house newsletters, the identification may merely give an indication of the general character or type of the publication.

Example - “Employee newspaper” may be accepted.

See TMEP §1402.11(a)(x) regarding online publications.