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Author Topic: good or service?  (Read 1103 times)


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good or service?
« on: 01-19-17 at 02:44 am »

First time poster, so please be gentle.

This seems like the most basic question in the field, but I'm not sure if I am selling a good or a service under the USPTO's definition.

In a nutshell, my company provides digital medical education content to patients in response to input provided by a physician through a software interface. The brand name I want to trademark is the company name, it is on the software which the hospital uses to "order" the educational materials, and is on the materials which are provided to the patient.

So am I selling a service (providing these products to patients on demand and providing data to the hospital which shows what the patient actually viewed) or a product (the digital materials which I send to the patients)? Or both?

As I browse through Class 44, it appears that most medical information falls under services ("044-490: providing a website featuring medical information", for example) and the only goods are if the medical information is actually placed onto an object like a bracelet or software which is sold to the user (my software would have no use on its own, it is just a user interface). So under the theory that a website is a service, I'm leaning towards this being a service.

Thanks very much for any thoughts you might have on this.

Best, TJ


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Re: good or service?
« Reply #1 on: 01-19-17 at 07:36 am »

It sounds like both -- the materials you provide to patients are "goods", the website for ordering them is a "service".

The categories system is more of a way for the USPTO to collect fees than something useful in and of itself.  This is why you also see companies registering for a dozen rather obviously ancillary categories including "tee shirts" -- because there have been instances of attempted shakedown artists registering a logo in the tee shirts category and then trying to sue a company for its trade-show freebies.  (More of a thing in China or Brazil than the U.S., though.)  The USPTO could allow registration across categories for at least such trivial cases, but they'd rather collect double or triple or 12X the money.
"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.


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