How to write a trademark product/service desciption


Filing a trademark seems easy and relatively cheap. And I'm planning to do so to protect my new brand despite it not being particularly valuable. The tricky part - the part where you have to decide what to write - is writing a description of goods and services.

The best advice I found was this :

Even attorneys will differ in their approach to writing a Goods and
Services description. For small businesses that have just one or two
trademarks, we recommend a Goods and Services description that
includes the broadest possible commercial description, a narrower
description including any unique aspect of your stuff, additional
descriptions if other words might be used to find your stuff, any
pre-approved goods and services from the trademark ID manual.
This is aimed at the US but, from what I understand, should probably apply equally to other jurisdictions. Having read the above, I am planning to write the description of my product like this:
Computer software for premufication of spodangles; computer software; data processing equipment, computers; computer software.
I.e. narrow unique description, broaad/generic one and a couple of applicable descriptions from the standard list.

Is this a good approach? I am not hiring a lawyer because filing a trademark doesn't make business sense if the cost is more than a couple of hundred USD.


asked Dec 3 '12 at 02:34
394 points

1 Answer


The general principle is that you want the broadest description you can get away with. Broad descriptions give you the most legal rights, but you need to be careful about not stepping on any other existing trademarks. So, it needs to be broad, but not so broad as to offend others. You need to:

  1. Pick a strong mark.
  2. Search for similar marks.
  3. Craft a description that doesn't overlap with those marks. You want to do a good job so that you:

    • Don't waste your time.
    • Don't lose your filing fee.
    • Receive the protection you think you are getting (picking a strong mark to avoid litigation down the road - trademark registration is not by itself a perfect sword or shield).
answered Dec 6 '12 at 09:13
Tudor F. Capusan
11 points
  • Thank you. "Computer software" is apparently TOO broad: I found a US application provisionally refused "Applicant must clarify the nature of its computer software. An identification for computer software must specify the function or purpose of the software." – Paperjam 9 years ago

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