TMEP 1402.07(c): Unambiguous Identifications

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1402.07(c)    Unambiguous Identifications

An applicant may amend an unambiguous identification of goods that indicates a specific type of goods to specify definite and acceptable identifications of goods within the scope of the existing terminology.

An applicant may amend an unambiguous identification of services that indicates a specific type of service to specify definite and acceptable identifications of services within the scope of the existing terminology.

An applicant may not amend a definite identification of goods to specify services, or vice versa, except that if the goods are of a type that are available in more than one medium, and the applicant does not specify the medium in the identification of goods, the applicant will be allowed to amend to any medium, even if one of the mediums is classified as a service.

Example - If the applicant specifies “newsletters in the field of accounting,” the applicant may amend to “printed newsletters in the field of accounting" (Class 16), “downloadable newsletters in the field of accounting" (Class 9), “providing online newsletters in the field of accounting" (Class 41), or “newsletters in the field of accounting, recorded on DVDs" (Class 9). See TMEP § 1402.11(a)(x) regarding online publications.

Example - If the applicant specifies “computer programs in the field of accounting,” the applicant may only amend to specify computer programs within the scope specified, i.e., those programs concerning accounting. The applicant may not amend to any service, other than “providing temporary use of non-downloadable computer programs in the field of accounting.” The applicant may not amend from “providing temporary use of non-downloadable computer programs in the field of accounting” to “computer programs in the field of accounting,” because “computer programs” are broader in scope than “non-downloadable computer programs.” Nor may the applicant amend to any goods outside the scope of those already identified.

Example - If the applicant identifies the goods as “computer programs” without specifying the field, the applicant is limited to types of specific computer programs for the purposes of amendment. The applicant has identified a definite type of goods, but USPTO policy requires further specificity as to the purpose or function of the goods. An applicant who has identified its goods as “clothing” would likewise be limited to goods within the scope of the term “clothing.”

Example - If the applicant specified “retail store services,” the applicant would be limited to amendments within the scope of this service. Although USPTO policy requires further specificity as to field, the applicant has identified a definite type of service.

Example - If the applicant identifies its goods as “stationery,” “wine labels,” or “menus,” the applicant is restricted, in any amendments, to goods within the scope of the type indicated. The applicant could not amend to specify other types of goods or services, such as “wine” or “restaurant services.”

Example - If the applicant specified the service “television programming [scheduling],” the applicant would be limited to amendments within the scope of this service. This service does not refer to a series of programs. It is only a scheduling service.