Changes to Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual (ID Manual) On Their Way

October 3, 2012

The USPTO recently held a roundtable regarding the Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual (ID Manual).  Relatively unchanged for a number of years, the ID Manual is set to undergo structural and content changes in the future.  This should make it easier to locate matching good/services categories and reduce the dependancies of more expensive custom drafted descriptors.  Per the USPTO:

The roundtable discussion focused on the following issues related to identification and classification of goods and services:

•       The USPTO’s Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual (ID Manual):  The USPTO plans to redesign the ID Manual to better meet user needs and we are seeking suggestions regarding desirable features and content for the Manual.  We are also seeking feedback on whether presenting the ID Manual in a hierarchical format using a drop-down list, where identifications are organized by general categories that are then divided into more specific categories, would be useful.                                                                                                                    

•       The USPTO’s practice regarding the level of specificity required in describing goods and services:  The USPTO seeks user feedback on whether modification of current practice is desirable.  For example, rather than requiring a list of individual clothing items, should the USPTO accept a more general description of a category of clothing, such as “casual wear” or “sportswear”?  

•       Collaboration with industry groups:  The USPTO would like to discuss the possibility of creating ongoing working relationships with key industries to ensure that the USPTO ID Manual is promptly updated with new products and services, and contains comprehensive lists of the most common goods and services in each industry.

•       International databases of acceptable identifications of goods and services:  Efforts are underway to develop a harmonized list of identifications that all participating countries or international organizations accept, and also to create a non-harmonized list of identifications with an indication of which countries or international organizations accept each listed item.  The USPTO seeks user input on the potential value of these projects to trademark owners who seek registration in multiple jurisdictions.