TMEP 1402.11(a)(x): Online Publications

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1402.11(a)(x)    Online Publications

Online publications are non-downloadable publications provided via the internet. All online publications are classified in Class 41 no matter what the subject matter.  The identification for online publications must indicate both the specific nature, e.g., magazines, newsletters, etc., and the subject matter of the online publication. An acceptable identification would be:

"Providing online publications in the nature of {indicate specific nature of publications} 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, and appears to be an information service, a more appropriate identification would be "providing information in the field of {indicate service-related subject matter or nature of information} via a website, in Class ___" (classification depends on the subject matter).

If an applicant identifies its goods and/or services as "publications, namely...," and it becomes apparent during examination that the publications are non-downloadable online publications, the applicant may amend the identification to indicate that the services are providing online publications in Class 41, as the term "publications," without additional context, 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 "online publications," because this would exceed the scope of the original identification. See 37 C.F.R. §2.71(a).