Why does the Trademark Office compel trademark applicants to select from the “Trademark Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services?” When I filed trademarks for my clients ten years ago there was no push to get us to select an approved statement of goods or services. We were free to correctly define what my client thought was an accurate statement of their goods or services. While the Trademark Office seemed to have some minor rules about how we stated what our goods (hereinafter goods should be read to mean goods or services) were, in general these rules seemed to be about form. I will note that even these rules appeared to be poorly defined or explained, but they were not an impediment to a correct statement of the client’s goods. Somewhere in the last ten years the Trademark Office started forcing people to select from the Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services. The problem with this policy is that this list often does not have a correct identification of the goods that my entrepreneurial clients are offering. By definition, these clients are providing a unique good that has not been offered in the market before. The result of the policy is that my clients shoehorn their trademark application into one of the acceptable statements of goods. This results in an incorrect statement of the actual goods they are providing. This policy appears arbitrary and bureaucratic to me and my clients. Can anyone provide me a reason for this policy? How does this policy improve the trademark application process? Is this policy another misguided attempt to harmonize our laws with the rest of the world?
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