TMEP 1402.03(e): Identifying Publications with Specificity

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

Previous: §1402.03(d) | Next: §1402.03(f)

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 - "Magazines in the field of medicine" is acceptable in Class 16.

Example - "Newsletters about television programs" is acceptable in Class 16.

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 in Class 16.

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 (e.g., "religious books" or "travel 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. See TMEP §§1402.03(b), 1402.03(c). 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, the identification may merely give an indication of the general character or type of the publication.

Example - "General feature magazines" is acceptable in Class 16.

Publications in Class 16 are in printed form. Although it is acceptable for identifications in Class 16 to indicate that the publications are "printed," such wording is not required for classification of the goods.

Downloadable publications and publications recorded on electronic media are classified in Class 9. Identifications for electronic publications must indicate the nature and subject matter of the publications and must specify that the goods are downloadable or recorded on computer media for classification in Class 9.

Example – "Electronic publications, namely, {indicate specific type of publication, e.g., book, magazine, manual} featuring {indicate subject matter} recorded on computer media" is acceptable in Class 9.

Example – "Downloadable electronic publications in the nature of {indicate specific nature of publication} in the field of {indicate subject matter of publication}" is acceptable in Class 9.

See TMEP §1402.11(a)(x) regarding the Class 41 service of providing online publications.