USPTO – Manuals, Guides, Official Gazette

Manuals, Guides, Official Gazette

Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP) – April 2013
The TMEP provides trademark examining attorneys in the USPTO, trademark applicants, and attorneys and representatives for trademark applicants with a reference work on the current law, practices, and procedures relative to prosecution of applications to register marks in the USPTO.  The TMEP contains guidelines for examining attorneys and materials in the nature of information and interpretation, and outlines the procedures that examining attorneys are required or authorized to follow in the examination of trademark applications.
Between updates to the TMEP, the Office occasionally provides guidance about a particular issue through the issuance of an Examination Guide.  Typically, as to that issue, the Examination Guide supersedes the current edition of the TMEP to the extent any inconsistency exists.  Any Examination Guides issued subsequent to the publication of the TMEP April 2013 ed., or any issued prior to publication but not incorporated in the TMEP, are listed on the Trademark Examination Guides page.
Note:  The current version of the TMEP is now identified by the month and year in which it is issued (i.e., April 2013).  This is a change from prior versions, which were identified using edition and revision numbers.
Zipped PDF and HTML files and archived copies of the 4th – 8th editions and the October 2012 version of the TMEP are available at TMEP files and archives.
To submit comments regarding selected chapters and/or sections of the TMEP via IdeaScale, see the notice at
Trademark Trial and Appeal Board Manual of Procedure (TBMP) – June 2012
The TBMP provides stakeholders with basic information generally useful for litigating trial cases before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB).  The manual describes current practice and procedure under the applicable authority, including the Trademark Act, the Trademark Rules of Practice, the Federal Rules (where applicable), and precedential case law.
The TBMP is updated periodically.  Between updates, it is recommended that the TTAB’s home page be checked for announcements concerning policy, practice and rules changes.
Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual (ID Manual)
The ID Manual lists identifications of goods and services and their respective classifications that the USPTO examining attorneys will accept without further inquiry if the specimens of record support the identification and classification.  The listing is not exhaustive, but is intended to serve as a guide to both examining attorneys in acting on applications and to filers in preparing applications.  Using language directly from the ID Manual helps avoid objections by examining attorneys concerning “indefinite” identifications of goods or services; however, applicants must assert actual use in commerce or a bona fide intent to use the mark in commerce for the goods or services specified. Therefore, even with a definite identification, examining attorneys may inquire as to whether the identification chosen accurately identifies the applicant’s goods or services.
A failure to list the goods/services correctly with which you use your mark, or intend to use your mark, may prevent you from registering your mark; therefore, proper selection from the ID Manual is critical.  Need more information on how to identify your good/services?   Watch the Trademark Information “how-to” video on “Goods and Services.”  Or need more information on the difference between use and intent to use?  Watch the “Filing Basis” video.
Another resource is the International Schedule of Classes of Goods and Services.   This is a listing, by class, of all of the headings for the international classes.   It also identifies some of the most common items falling within the class, and includes explanatory notes indicating what the class specifically does and does not include.  NOTE: Under U.S. Trademark law, class headings by themselves are not acceptable for registration purposes.   The specific items of goods and/ or services must be listed.
Official Gazette (OG)
Every Tuesday, the USPTO issues the OG, a publication that contains a depiction of the mark, the identification of goods and/or services, and owner information for: (1) marks published for opposition on the Principal Register; (2) marks registered on the Principal Register under 15 U.S.C. §1051(d); (3) marks registered on the Supplemental Register on the date of the particular issue in which the marks appear; and (4) updated registration certificates.  The OG is presented in a .PDF format and is available for the fifty-two (52) most recent issues.
NOTE: Trademark notices, such as changes in rules or Office procedures and notices to parties who cannot be reached by mail, do not appear in the electronic OG , but instead are available at
Trademark Examination Guides
Between updates to the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure (TMEP), the Office occasionally provides guidance about a particular issue through the issuance of an Examination Guide.  Typically, as to that issue, the Examination Guide supersedes the current edition of the TMEP to the extent any inconsistency exists and the guidance contained therein is usually incorporated into the next edition of the TMEP.
Design Search Code Manual
The USPTO assigns all marks containing design figurative elements a 6-digit numerical code(s) for searching purposes.  This manual indexes the categories, divisions, and sections that make up these codes.  For example, a single five-pointed star would be coded in category 01 (celestial bodies, natural phenomena and geographical maps), division 01 (stars, comets) and section 03 (single star with five points), resulting in a complete design code of 01.01.03.  The design search code manual also contains explanatory notes and specific guidelines that provide instructions for specific code sections, cross-reference notes that direct users to other code categories, sections and divisions, and notes describing elements that are included or excluded from a code section.

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