–Sharon Armstrong, Attorney
Trademark attorneys often counsel their clients to file trademark applications with the broadest scope of goods and services possible (e.g., broad categories of goods without any trade channel limitations). The main reason for this is to provide clients with the broadest scope of trademark insulation on the registry. Filing for ELVISWARE for “tableware” rather than “glassware featuring pictures of Elvis” may prevent third parties who desire to register a similar mark for related but not necessarily identical goods and services (say, ELVISWARES for table linens). If the Trademark Office finds the identification to be too broad or unclear, it will simply issue an office action to require further clarification or specificity.
Filing with a broad scope of goods and services has other benefits too, such as providing a little mystery as to the precise nature of your goods and services. A fun example is related to the recent video teaser from Neill Blomkamp, the director of the film District 9, which was nominated for a best picture at last year’s Oscars. As the website Slashfilm notes, “the video…features two young men who discover a dead alien-looking creature in a puddle on the side of a dirt road. The creature has a circular stamp on its side which reads ’18.12 AGM Heartland Pat Pend USA’ and the outer circle reads: ‘US Inspected and Approved.’”
More after the jump…