Occasionally, there will be a need to divide a trademark application to divide a portion of it out of the application. Dividing an application removes, but does not delete, the identified portion and creates a new application on that portion. This will be done for a number of reasons, such as:
- The application has been rejected on some of the goods or services but not all of them
- The mark is being used on some goods or services but not all
- A suspension has been issued, but only against some of the goods or services
Dividing the goods or services will allow the original application to proceed for further examination. The divided goods or services are made subject to a new application where their particular issues can be addressed separately, without affecting the original application.
There is a cost for dividing an application. In the case of a request to divide out one or more entire classes of goods or services, only a dividing fee is necessary ($100 at the time of this writing). However, in the case of a request to divide out some, but not all, of the goods or services in a class, the dividing fee is required in addition to a new application filing fee (probably $225 or $275 per new class). In other words, it is cheaper to divide an entire class of goods or services than just a portion of that class. In some cases, a trademark applicant may have the luxury of choosing between these, while in other cases, the decision may be forced by the circumstances.