Filing a trademark application for “everything”, as a “general brand” or to “prevent others from registering a similar trademark”, is impossible. An umbrella trademark that will cover everything under the sun does not exist. If you are an Amazon seller and you don’t have an idea what to sell, you should return to the planning phase and come up with a marketing strategy for the coming year or even two years from now. When you realize what items you will sell, you can start thinking of how you can file a trademark application.

In the Canadian and the US trademark office, it is required that applicants should make a list of items and services that you sell or you plan to sell when applying for trademark registration.

To limit the possibility of getting a complaint from the Trademark Office, we have outlined simple 11 trademark tips for making your lists of goods and services acceptable. No doubt, your trademark lawyer or agent will appropriately characterize your items for the trademark filing, however, we have given the 11 trademark tips below just to provide you with the general idea of how trademark classification works.

1.Do not use full sentences and be specific: Examples are,

I am offering pet sitting services – Wrong

Pet sitting services – Right

Various clothing – Wrong

Clothing, namely t-shirts, sweatshirts, caps, and hats – Right

2. Avoid incorporating registered trademarks when describing your trademark:

Zumba fitness classes (ZUMBA is a registered trademark) – Wrong

Conducting fitness classes – Right

Cases for iPhones (iPhone is a registered trademark) – Wrong

Cell phone cases – Right

3. Do not add open-ended words (like “etc.”, “others”, “including”, “such as” and “various”):

Elliptical exercises machines, exercise steppers, and other equipment –  Wrong

Elliptical exercises machines, exercise steppers, exercise treadmills – Right

Kitchen utensils – Wrong

Kitchen utensils, namely kitchen tongs, basting spoons and spatulas – Right

4. Avoid being excessively explicit as this will unnecessarily constrain you:

Massage services for elderly people who suffer from depression and insomnia – Wrong

Massage services – Right

5. Indicate field, industry or function where conceivable (especially applicable for software, videos, and consulting services):

Computer software – Wrong

Computer software for word processing that may be downloaded from a global computer network (indicate the function) – Right

Downloadable videos – Wrong

Downloadable videos featuring music (indicate field) – Right

5. Classify products into appropriate classes and use government pick-list to qualify for the lowest filing fee

Toys, cosmetics, toy chests – Wrong

Cosmetics – Right

7. If you are only selling one item, for example, “Silicone muffin baking liners”, do not add other items that you don’t sell yet and indicate that they are also in use. It is tempting to do so but may lead to a trademark audit and possibly even trademark invalidation.

Silicone muffin baking liners; Cookware, namely, pots and pans; Pot lids; Pot cleaning brushes (based on the use) – Wrong

Silicone muffin baking liners – based on use Cookware, namely, pots and pans; Pot lids; Pot cleaning brushes (based on “intent to use”) – Right

8. Avoid including items that legally accepted like cannabis in a country where such products are frowned at…like the US. This may lead to a trademark refusal.

9. Don’t use confusing or deceptive information like “organic creams” for creams that are not natural.

10. Avoid including products that you have no intention to sell.

11. Do not list services if their sole purpose is to promote your own business.

If you are not clear about some things here, kindly contact us and we will answer your questions without any charges.