The perhaps underestimated list of goods or services that applicants file with their trademark applications play an essential role in defining the protection the trademark will have.
Registrars use this list to determine if an application should be refused and if it limits a trademark’s exclusive rights. The goods or services listed in an application can also motivate oppositions from competitors with prior rights or cause the future cancellation of the trademark.
A recent trademark case in the European Union calls into attention the need for authorities to establish clear, predictable rules to identify goods and services in trademark systems. Further, the case highlights why it is important for applicants to carefully consider which goods or services they wish to protect and clearly identify them in an application.
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