TMEP 1402.11(e): Consulting Services

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1402.11(e)    Consulting Services

Prior to January 1, 2002, all consulting services were classified in Class 42 except those relating to business (Class 35) and financial or insurance (Class 36).  Effective January 1, 2002, consulting services are classified in the class of the service-related subject matter of the service. See TMEP §§1401.11–1401.11(a).

The General Remarks of the Nice Classification provide the following guidance on identifying and classifying consulting services:

Services that provide advice, information or consultation are in principle classified in the same classes as the services that correspond to the subject matter of the advice, information or consultation, e.g., transportation consultancy (Cl. 39), business management consultancy (Cl. 35), financial consultancy (Cl. 36), beauty consultancy (Cl. 44). The rendering of the advice, information or consultancy by electronic means (e.g., telephone, computer) does not affect the classification of these services.

See the Nice General Remarks in TMEP §1401.02(a). Examples of acceptable identifications for consulting services include the following:

  • "Consulting in the field of telecommunication services, namely, transmission of voice, data, and documents via telecommunications networks, in Class 38."
  • "Consulting in the field of telecommunications technology, in Class 42."
  • "Consulting in the field of maintenance and repair of telecommunications network hardware, apparatus, and instruments, in Class 37."

Technical consulting is like any other consultation service, although it focuses primarily on how things work.  Thus, the field or subject matter of technical consultation services must be set forth with adequate specificity to allow for accurate classification in accordance with the related branch of activity specified in the Class Headings.  It should be noted that technology consulting is in Class 42 because it encompasses consulting about the technology aspects of the subject matter given, and "technological services" appears in the Class 42 Class Heading.

Examples of acceptable identifications for technical consulting services include the following:

  • "Technical consulting related to the installation of oil and gas equipment, control systems, and machinery, in Class 37."
  • "Technical consulting related to the manufacturing of oil and gas equipment, control systems, and machinery, in Class 40."
  • "Technical consultancy in the field of environmental science, in Class 42."

The ID Manual previously included the entry "Computer consultation" in Class 42, but that entry was deleted because it is indefinite. See TMEP §1401.10 regarding the effective date of changes to the ID Manual. As indicated above, consultation services are classified in the same classes as the services that correspond to the subject matter of the consultation. See TMEP §1401.02(a). The service-related subject matter of "computer consultation" is unclear and could encompass services in multiple classes. For example, "consultation about the repair of computer hardware" is classified in Class 37 (the class for computer hardware repair services), and "consultation about the maintenance and updating of computer software" is classified in Class 42 (the class for maintenance and updating of computer software). "Computer technology consultancy" is also classified in Class 42 based on the wording "technological services" in the Class 42 Class Heading.