A Guide to the USPTO Trademark Identification (ID) Manual
Are you ready to register your small business trademark with the USPTO? In the application, you have to identify the trademark classes your products or services fall under. Besides specifying the trademark class, you should also provide a clear and concise description of each product or service listed in your application—but not all descriptions are approved. You can find the acceptable descriptions in the USPTO Trademark Identification (ID) Manual. In this guide, you will learn how to identify and describe your items correctly.
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The ID Manual is a web-based application provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to help trademark applicants search and classify their goods or services correctly. It includes several pre-approved descriptions of products and services used by other applicants and suggestions from the public.
To classify your goods or services correctly, you should search the USPTO Trademark ID Manual before filing your application since the number of classes listed in your application affects the level of protection you can get. The USPTO will allow you to correct the classification or narrow down the scope after submitting your application—but you can’t add more classes.
Follow these steps to conduct your search:
- Brainstorm the search terms that describe your products or services
- Open the ID Manual
- Type the terms in the search box on the main page and click the search icon
- Sort the search results as desired by using the Sort By drop-down menu
- Note the product/service explanations in the Description column
You will get the results in a table. Here is an explanation of what each segment means:
|Results Table Segment||Explanation|
|Term ID||This column has a specific ID number that leads to a brief for that term. You don’t need to use the Term ID number in your application|
|Class||It shows the international class designated to certain goods or services. You can click on the class number to view what products it generally applies to|
|Description||The column shows the pre-approved identification of goods or services for your search term|
|Status||It denotes the status of that entry by any of the following letters:
|Effective Date||The column shows the date on which the status was updated|
|Type||It indicates whether the description refers to goods or services|
|Notes||This column provides varying information about the description|
|NCL Version||It specifies the NCL classification version at the time the status took effect|
The trademark protection law doesn’t require the registration of trademarks. As a trademark owner, you acquire common law ownership rights when you start using the mark in commerce—but registered marks enjoy more protection than unregistered ones.
If you decide to go through with the process, the first step is searching the USPTO database for pre-existing marks that are similar to yours. It is not a formal requirement, but it can help you avoid many problems, like trademark infringement.
Applications are submitted online using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). The system offers two trademark application forms:
- TEAS Plus
- TEAS Standard
Filing your application with TEAS Plus requires you to use the descriptions exactly as provided in the ID Manual. When classifying your goods or services, the form will prompt you to enter a search term that is relevant to your items. Then, TEAS Plus will automatically show you the right class based on the ID Manual listings. You must pay $250 for every class.
When using the TEAS Standard form, you can pick identifications from the ID Manual or come up with your own. You can use this form if you can’t find the right entry for your products or services in the ID Manual. It doesn’t require you to use the exact wording provided in the ID Manual, as in the case of TEAS Plus.
This comes with problems of inaccurate identification, which results in a higher rejection rate of applications made using this form. TEAS Standard costs $350 per class.
Getting accurate trademark identification in your initial application can be difficult, but it saves time. Even if your trademark qualifies for trademark protection, your application details can affect the fate of your application.
DoNotPay can help you minimize potential problems and deal with the application without delays.
Here is what you need to do:
- Sign up for DoNotPay
- Find the Trademark Registration tool
- Tell us more about your mark
- Pay the USPTO application fees
- Trademarks or service marks—Protect signs used in commerce to identify the products or services that belong to a specific brand, for example, logos, slogans, business names, etc. Trademarks can last forever as long as the mark is continuously used in commerce and the necessary renewal documents are filed on time
- Patents—Protect original and unique inventions, for example, new machine parts or computer hardware
- Copyrights—Protect various creative expressions, such as paintings, novels, music, etc.
One of the most challenging aspects of every business is building a trusting relationship with the customers and maintaining a good reputation. That is why it is crucial to protect your business name, logo, and slogan legally by registering it as a trademark. DoNotPay is here to help you do that hassle-free with our Trademark Registration tool. Need help checking for trademark violations once you register? There is no need to fret as we have a tool that can help you with that as well!
Now that your trademark is taken care of, you should consider complying with data protection requirements to take care of your users’ privacy. You can do so by using our Privacy Shield Self-Certification product.
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