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Advertising One’s Own Products or Services on the Internet is not a Service

Advertising one’s own products or services is not a service. See In re Reichhold Chemicals, Inc., 167 USPQ 376 (TTAB 1970); TMEP §1301.01(a)(ii). Therefore, businesses that create a web site for the sole purpose of advertising their own products or services cannot register a domain name used to identify that activity. In examination, the issue usually arises when the applicant describes the activity as a registrable service, e.g., “providing information about [a particular field],” but the specimens of use make it clear that the web site merely advertises the applicant’s own products or services. In this situation, the examining attorney must refuse registration because the mark is used to identify an activity that does not constitute a “service” within the meaning of the Trademark Act. Trademark Act §§1, 2, 3 and 45, 15 U.S.C. §§1051, 1052, 1053 and 1127.

Last Modified: March 22nd, 2010