TMEP 1402.05(a): Goods That Are Components or Ingredients

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1402.05(a)    Goods That Are Components or Ingredients

When a mark is used to identify only a component or ingredient of a product, and not the entire product, the identification must (1) precisely set forth the common name of the component or ingredient, (2) indicate that the component or ingredient is sold as a component or ingredient of another finished product, and (3) set forth the common name of the finished product of which the identified component or ingredient forms a part, e.g., "acoustic baffles sold as a component of loudspeakers."  In other words, when the specimen or other material in the record clearly indicates that the mark relates only to a distinguishable component or ingredient of a finished product, then the application should identify that component or ingredient as the goods rather than the finished product.  The identification should leave no doubt that the mark refers only to the component or ingredient and not to the entire product. See Ex parte The Joseph & Feiss Co., 114 USPQ 463 (Comm’r Pats. 1957); Ex parte Palm Beach Co., 114 USPQ 463 (Comm’r Pats. 1957); Mercantile Stores Co. v. The Joseph & Feiss Co., 112 USPQ 298 (Comm’r Pats. 1957); In re Libbey-Owens-Ford Glass Co., 75 USPQ 202 (Comm’r Pats. 1947). For example, if a mark is used on a label for fiber-optic cables to identify only the optical fibers that are components of the cables, "optical fibers sold as a component of fiber optical cables" would be an acceptable identification to accurately identify the goods.

The examining attorney should examine the specimen to determine whether it shows use of the mark to identify the separate component or ingredient or the finished product in its entirety. Components or ingredients sold as part of a finished product are classified in the class of the finished product, since the components or ingredients have been incorporated into other finished goods.

Example – The identification of goods lists "glass door lites" in Class 19. (Glass door lites are glass panes for installation into doors.) The specimen is a label for a metal door which shows use of the mark to identify a particular component of the door, while the door itself is identified by a different mark. As the mark for which registration is sought identifies a component of a finished product and not a separate finished product, the identification must specify that the goods are "glass door lites sold as components of metal doors," and the proper classification is that of "metal doors," namely, Class 6.

If the mark does not pertain solely to a component or ingredient rather than the finished or composite product, the identification should not specify the component or ingredient as the goods.

Components or ingredients used for the manufacture of other finished products that are sold separately from the finished products are classified in the class of the specified components or ingredients, since the components or ingredients have not yet been transformed into the finished goods.

The same rules of language construction for purposes of amendment, as set forth in TMEP §§1402.01 et seq., 1402.06 et seq., and 1402.07 et seq., apply to amendments of identifications to indicate components or ingredients.  Thus, whether an identification may be amended will depend on the particular circumstances of each application.

Example - The indefinite term "fabric" may be amended to the definite identification "fabric sold as an integral component of finished furniture" but may not be amended to "furniture," which is beyond the scope of the identification.

See TMEP §1402.05 regarding accuracy of the identification.