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ID Assistance Tool Instructions

The TEAS ID Assistance tool allows you to enter one or more identifications (IDs) into the TEAS Free-form text field for comparison against entries in the USPTO’s Acceptable Identification of Goods and Services Manual (ID Manual).  Once you have reviewed the results, you can then revise your entry to follow the acceptable language from the ID Manual, if the language from the ID Manual is accurate for your goods and/or services.  It can assist you in detecting potentially unclear language in your ID before you file your application.

Entering IDs in Text Box

To use the tool, enter your ID in the text box, using only characters from the English alphabet and/or numbers composed of the numerals 0-9.  Separate the wording that identifies each good or service using a comma or semicolon (see instructions below).  Please note that entering anything other than characters from the English alphabet and/or numbers composed of the numerals 0-9 will cause errors in the search results.  In particular, do not enter the following:

  • special characters (e.g., accent or diacritical marks),
  • punctuation other than hyphens, commas, or semi-colons, or
  • brackets ([]) or braces ({})

For purposes of comparison with the ID Manual, there is a 4,000-character limit.  You can copy your ID into a word-processing program to check the number of characters if you are unsure whether your ID exceeds 4,000 characters.  If your ID exceeds 4,000 characters, you may still use the tool by comparing smaller portions of your ID individually, saving your compared portions in a separate document, and then entering the entire ID in the text box. 

Although the ID Assistance tool and ID Manual comparison cannot accept special characters, the TEAS application form will still validate if such characters are included in the text box after you perform the comparison.  And there is no limit to the amount of characters you may submit in the application form itself.

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Selecting a Searching Method

An important feature of the ID Assistance tool is that you can select how the goods/services will be searched in the ID Manual.  The ID Assistance tool breaks down or searches the string of identifications based on the selections shown below.  You will find the options below the text box in which you enter the goods and services.  Note that the default searching method is “Semicolon”.

The searching method you select (i.e., by semicolons, commas, both, or neither) will depend on the manner in which the goods and/or services are entered into the text box. 


  • Semicolon: Searches all wording separated by a semicolon as a single clause. Commas will be ignored.

For example, if the identification is: 

    T-shirts; sweat shirts; sweat pants; wind resistant jackets

The best searching in this case would be "Semicolon" and the ID Assistance Results page will display each entry separated by a semicolon on a separate line.


  • Comma: Searches all wording separated by a comma as a single clause. Semicolons will be ignored.

For example, if the identification is:

    T-shirts, sweat shirts, sweat pants, wind resistant jackets

The best searching method in this case would be “Comma” and the ID Assistance Results page will display each entry separated by a comma on a separate line.


  • Both: Searches all wording separated by a comma or a semicolon as a clause.

For example, if the identification is:

    T-shirts, sweat shirts; sweat pants; wind resistant jackets

The best searching method in this case would be “Both” and the ID Assistance Results page will display each entry separated by a comma or semicolon on a separate line.

However, just because both semicolons and commas are used in the ID does not mean that “Both” is always the best searching method.  For example, if the identification is:

    Hats for infants, babies, toddlers and children; infant sleepers; infant wear

Parsing by “Both” would result in the terms “babies” and “toddlers and children” being treated as separate items rather than the entire phrase “Hats for infants, babies, toddlers and children” being compared with the ID Manual.  In this case, the better searching method would be “Semicolon” to separate the items onto three lines and compare each with the ID Manual.


  • None: Searches all wording as a single clause. Commas and semicolons will be ignored. (This is rarely appropriate.)

For example, if the identification is:

    Providing a web site featuring the ratings, reviews and recommendations on products and services for commercial purposes posted by users

The best searching method in this case would be "None" since the identification is best left in its entirety, as the comma in the identification does not denote a separate type of service.

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Analyzing IDs

Once you have selected a searching method, you can compare the goods and/or services listed in the ID with the ID Manual.  Click the “Analyze” button located below the searching options.  The tool will separate the items in the ID based on the searching method you selected, compare each with the ID Manual, and display search results.  

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Understanding the Results

The search results screen allows you to (1) view the results with a date and time stamp on the web page and (2) print the list by clicking the “Print” button at the top of the page.  The ID Manual Results column will display one of three results:  “OK,” “Possible Match,” or “None.” 


  • OK:  The proposed wording is identical to a listing in the ID Manual.  Such a result will also display the International Class number assigned to the entry in the column to the left of the item, under the heading “Class.”

  • Possible Match: The proposed wording may require further clarification because, as entered, does not exactly match any entry in the ID Manual.  Click the hyperlinked search term to open a browser window containing a listing of all entries from the ID Manual that incorporate the wording in question.

Some of the common reasons for a display of “Possible Match” include:

  1. Entering the singular version of the term instead of the plural version, and vice versa
  2. The entry in the ID Manual includes additional punctuation (e.g., an additional comma) or connector words (e.g., “and,” “or,” “not,” “near”) that are ignored by the search engine.
  3. The entry in the ID Manual includes additional information in curly or straight brackets that is ignored by the search engine.  Curly bracket entries require the inclusion of specific items or uses (i.e., are fill-in-the-blank entries) and will not retrieve exact matches in most cases.  Wording in straight brackets is informational and it is not necessary to include such wording in an ID.
  4. The entry in the ID Manual could encompass more than one possible acceptable identification.  You may click on the item and the hyperlink will take you directly to the ID Manual entries retrieved.

  •  No Entry: The proposed ID, in its entirety, does not appear in any entries in the ID Manual.

If there is "No Entry," try searching for some combination of terms for that item in the ID Manual.  Please note that the inconsistency between the identification that you are reviewing and the ID Manual listing may be minor.  For example, “irrigation sprinklers” will result in “OK,” but “irrigating sprinklers” will result in “No Entry.”  You may search in the ID Manual using truncation by using dollar signs ($) at the beginning or end of word portions (e.g., irrigat$ or irrig$) to retrieve more results.  This system is designed to be as helpful and flexible as possible, but careful human analysis is highly encouraged.  

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Next Steps

If you are satisfied with your results and/or wish to revise your identification of goods and/or services, you may return to the TEAS form. Once you are back in the form, you may add, delete, or modify your goods and/or services in the text box, and, if desired, click the "Analyze" button again. Each time you click "Analyze," a new window will open with results, which will remain open until you click "Close." Multiple results windows may remain open and be compared or printed.

NOTE: The results page is provided as a convenience to applicants. A USPTO examining attorney will review any identification of goods and/or services that you submit, and may require modification. Failure to list your goods and/or services accurately could prevent registration.

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Feedback

For help in resolving technical glitches with the ID Assistance tool, please e-mail TEAS@uspto.gov . Please include the following information: (1) your name, (2) telephone number, (3) serial number, (4) a description of your issue, and (5) a screen shot of any error message that you are receiving.  You should receive a response within 2 hours if the e-mail is submitted during normal business hours.

The USPTO would like user feedback relating to the specific functions in the tool, the need for a capability that does not yet exist, and/or new functionality.  We appreciate your help in ensuring that our electronic systems best meet your needs and we hope you take this opportunity to send in your thoughts and ideas to TMFeedback@uspto.gov.  

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Last Modified: 8/15/2013 9:02:51 AM