Earlier this month, at the request of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals officially set a trademark registration requirement by making an earlier ruling precedential. That previously-unpublished ruling, which affirmed an earlier Trademark Trial & Appeal Board ruling, clarified the specific types of sales transaction information that are needed on a trademark applicant’s website to satisfy the “use in commerce” requirement for obtaining a trademark.
In evaluating “use in commerce,” the Federal Circuit distinguished between a website that merely advertises a product and a website that provides information important to buying the product. Ultimately, the Federal Circuit affirmed that a website would need to display the product’s price range, minimum quantity requirement, acceptable payment methods, and shipping method.
As a result of this ruling, each trademark applicant should ensure that the proper detail is available on its website before filing for trademark registration when it plans to rely on its website to satisfy the “use in commerce” requirement.