The most difficult and confusing part of completing a trademark application can be selecting a trademark class.The following are some pointers to help you comprehend trademark classes and select the appropriate one.The class of goods or services that your trademark covers must be identified when you apply for trademark registration.
How do I select a trademark class? The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) uses a list of trademark classes that divides all products and services into just 45 categories, 34 for products and 11 for services.The names of the classes can be hard to understand at first.Where do you separate medical services (class 44) from medical supplies (class 10)?What distinguishes textile products (class 22) from textiles (class 24)?
Because you may not be able to register a trademark if you select the wrong class, it is critical that you do so.In addition, you will not be able to change your registration later to name a different class or switch from a good to a service if you do manage to register for the incorrect one.
Here are some suggestions to assist you in selecting the appropriate trademark classes on the tm class search.
Use the Trademark Identification Manual
A list of USPTO trademark classes can be found in the trademark identification manual.It also provides product or service descriptions that have been approved in advance for each class.The manual can be searched online, so if you type “jewelry,” for instance, all of the possible categories of goods and services will appear.Toy jewelry is in class 28, medical identification bracelets are in class 6, and ring sizing and remounting is in class 37, according to the classification system.
Is it a service or a product?
You must decide whether your trademark applies to a good or a service before selecting the appropriate trademark class.A good is something that people buy from you.An activity that you do for other people is called a service.It’s not always hard to tell the difference.A good example is furniture.A service is accounting.
However, there are times when the line is unclear.T-shirts are used as an example by the Trademark Office.You are providing a good if you have a lot of t-shirts and sell them.You are providing a printing service if customers bring shirts to you for custom printing.It’s possible that you’ll need to register trademarks for both a product and a service if you sell t-shirts with designs printed on them.Additionally, you are providing a retail service if you have a website or retail store where you sell t-shirts and other merchandise.
Is your trademark applicable to your entire business or just a single product or service?
Your company name and logo, for example, may be trademarks that apply to your entire enterprise.However, you might also wish to trademark specific product names, logos, labels, or other characteristics.The classification you use for your company as a whole may not always correspond to the classification you use for a specific product.
For instance, if your business develops software for gaming, your trademarks promote a software product (class 9).However, suppose you wish to trademark the name of a novel product—an online game that does not require downloading.Class 41 refers to that particular item as a service.
Choose a Trademark Classification
Because you may use your company name or logo on numerous items, trademark classifications can be confusing.In addition to the product itself, your website, business cards, and office sign are all included.It’s important to keep in mind that your trademark class is determined by the product or service itself, not by how you market it with your trademark.
If you sell cosmetics, for instance, you fall under class 3, “cosmetics and cleaning substances.”Even if your name and logo appear on product boxes and brochures, you wouldn’t be able to register a trademark in class 16, which is “paper goods.”
Additionally, you should only list products or services on which you use or intend to use your trademark in your application.You should list t-shirts if you use your logo on the label, but you shouldn’t list dresses and pants just because they belong to the clothing category unless you intend to sell those items one day.You can get help choosing which trademark classes will be best for your business from a trademark attorney.
Choose a category that describes the finished product
Let’s say you sell sweaters made by hand.Your sweaters should be classified as clothing in class 25, not as yarns and threads in class 23.However, if you sell hand-dyed yarn in addition to sweaters, you must register your yarn in class 23.