TMEP 1402.11(c): Association Services and “Promoting the Interest of” Services

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1402.11(c)    Association Services and “Promoting the Interest of” Services

The classification of services rendered by associations was affected by the reorganization of Class 42 (see TMEP §§1401.09 et seq.). Prior to January 1, 2002, the Explanatory Notes regarding this topic for the old Class 42 included the language “services (not included in other classes) rendered by associations to their own members.” This language in the old Class 42 allowed identifications of services such as “association services, namely, promoting the interest of lawyers” to be accepted in Class 42. Effective January 1, 2002, there is no reference to “services rendered by an association” in the Class Heading or Explanatory Notes for any of the service classes.

Most activities rendered by associations are easily classified in other classes, e.g., business services (Class 35), insurance services (Class 36), travel arrangements (Class 39), training and entertainment (Class 41).

Effective January 1, 2002, under U.S. identification policy, lobbying services and activities related or similar to lobbying activities provided by an association are classified in Class 35, because they further the business interests of the group represented by the association. Even non-business interests such as those that promote reading skills or environmental protection have a “business interest” in promoting their concerns.