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Applying for a federal trademark registration seems straightforward. The elements of an application are the identity and address of the owner, the mark, a description of what the mark will be used for and the filing fee. If the owner has already used the mark, the dates of first use and an example or “specimen” of how the owner uses the mark are needed. As simple as it seems, The Office of the Chief Economist of the USPTO reported last year that at least one non-final office action issues against a majority of applications. This article focuses on one of the common stumbling blocks to registration: the identification of the goods or services. A flawed identification can delay or defeat an application.

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