TMEP 1402.11(a)(ii): Content Providers

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1402.11(a)(ii)    Content Providers

The term "content provider" is generally used to indicate a person or entity that provides information or entertainment content for use on the internet or electronic media. Content-provider services may be classified in a variety of classes depending upon the nature of the activity provided. Thus, the activity provided must be specified in the identification. As discussed below, the subject matter of the services may also be required for appropriate classification.

Information Provider Services

The service of providing information via the Internet is classified in the class of the service-related subject matter of the information.  Entities that provide these services by computer are considered to be "content providers," that is, they provide the informational or substantive content of a website and/or home page.  If an entity provides information in a wide variety of fields, the applicant must select the subject matter to be protected and classify the services accordingly (e.g., providing business information in Class 35, providing banking information in Class 36, providing home repair information in Class 37).  See TMEP §1402.11(b) regarding information services.

Some acceptable identifications:

  • "Providing business information via a website in Class 35."
  • "Providing real estate listings and real estate information via the Internet, in Class 36."
  • "Providing real-time information concerning vehicle parking space availability, in Class 39."

Audiovisual Content

Content-provider services involving the provision of online, non-downloadable videos are classified in Class 41 regardless of the subject matter of the videos. The subject matter of the videos must also be included in the identification to assist in likelihood of confusion determinations under 15 U.S.C. §1052(d). For additional information on identifying and classifying computer entertainment services, see TMEP § 1402.11(a)(vii).

Other Services Offered by Content Providers

Businesses and individuals commonly provide content services in addition to other types of services. For example, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) often provide online content as well as Class 38 internet access services. For information about identifying telecommunications services provided by ISPs, see TMEP § 1402.11(a)(iii). Online audiovisual content providers may similarly offer both videostreaming services in Class 38 and online non-downloadable videos in Class 41. Content providers also may provide a variety of technological services, such as website hosting services, in Class 42. Each service on or in connection with which the applicant uses, or has a bona fide intention to use, the mark in commerce should be set forth in the application. 15 U.S.C. §§1051(a)(2)   and 1051(b)(2); 37 C.F.R. §2.32(a)(6). For multiple-class application requirements, see TMEP §1403.01.