TMEP 1301.01(b)(v): Informational Services Ancillary to the Sale of Goods

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1301.01(b)(v)    Informational Services Ancillary to the Sale of Goods

Providing general information or instructions as to the purpose and uses of applicant’s goods is merely incidental to the sale of goods, not a separate informational service. In re Moore Bus. Forms Inc., 24 USPQ2d 1638 (TTAB 1992) (paper manufacturer who rates the recycled content and recyclability of its own products is merely providing information about its goods, not rendering a service to others); In re Reichhold Chems., Inc., 167 USPQ 376 (TTAB 1970) ("promoting the sale and use of chemicals" is not a registrable service, where applicant is merely providing "technical bulletins" that contain information about its own products); Ex parte Armco Steel Corp., 102 USPQ 124 (Comm’r Pats. 1954) (analyzing the needs of customers is not registrable as a consulting service, because it is an ordinary activity that is normally expected of a manufacturer selling goods); Ex parte Elwell-Parker Elec. Co., 93 USPQ 229 (Comm’r Pats. 1952) (providing incidental instructions on the efficient use of applicant’s goods not a service).  However, an applicant’s free hairstyling instructional "parties" were found to be a service, because conducting parties goes beyond what a seller of wigs would normally do in promoting its goods. In re Heavenly Creations, Inc., 168 USPQ 317 (TTAB 1971).