TMEP 1402.11(a)(x): Online Publications

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1402.11(a)(x)    Online Publications

All online publications are classified in Class 41 no matter what the subject matter. An acceptable identification would be:

“Computer services, namely providing online {indicate specific nature of publications, e.g., magazines, newsletters, etc.} in the field of {indicate subject matter of publication}, in Class 41.”

A column or section of an online publication would be identified as “computer services, namely, providing a {indicate column or section} in an online {indicate type of publication} in the field of {indicate subject matter of publication},” in Class 41.

The examining attorney should verify from the specimens that the information is presented in a “publication” format. An online magazine in Class 41 must really look like and have the attributes of a magazine, i.e., contain monthly or periodic articles, sections, features, advertisements, credits, etc. If it does not, a more appropriate identification would be “providing a website on the Internet featuring information in the field of ________, in Class ___” (classification dependent on the content).

If an applicant identifies its goods as “publications, namely...,” and it becomes apparent during examination that the goods are in fact online publications, the applicant may amend the identification to indicate that the goods are online publications in Class 41, since the term “publications” is broad enough to encompass both printed and online publications. On the other hand, if the applicant identifies its goods as “printed publications...,” the identification cannot be amended to indicate that the goods are “online publications,” because this would exceed the scope of the original identification. See 37 C.F.R. §2.71(a).