Understanding Trademark Classes
Trademark Classes are important because a trademark registration will only protect the registered trademark in the class that you identify on your application.
How Trademark Classes WorkThe trademark classification system of the USPTO divides all products and services into 45 Trademark Classes * 34 of them for products and the remaining 11 for services. There are many products and services that fall into each of the Trademark Classes; however, they are not always obvious from the name of the class. For example, class 25: *clothing* includes aprons, t-shirts, dresses, shoes, and socks. Class 26: *meat, fish, and poultry* includes milk and meat, but also things like potato chips and jam, while class 30: *coffee, flour, and rice* includes things like spices, popcorn, cereal, and ice cream.
When it comes to Trademark Classes, it is important to understand one basic rule: products and services can never be together in the same class. Therefore, if you sell coffee to grocery stores, what you are selling is a product that belongs in class 30. However, if you operate a caf*, what you are providing is not a product but a service that belongs in class 43: *food services.* Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to register your trademark in two different classes. Continuing with the coffee example, if, in addition to selling coffee, you sell roasted coffee beans at your coffee shop, you will need to register your trademark in both classes, 30 and 43.
When filing your trademark application, you must select the class of products or services that your trademark will protect, and you must identify the products or services your business provides. As mentioned above, once registered, your trademarks will only protect the products and services in the Trademark Classes you selected in your application, which is why it is extremely important to make sure you choose the right class.
Choosing the Wrong Trademark ClassesIf, for any reason, you choose the wrong trademark class, the USPTO may deny your trademark registration, and you will not get a reimbursement for your registration fee, which means that choosing the wrong trademark class may not only cost you several hundred dollars but also several months of your time. If you are an experienced Florida business owner, you understand how valuable time is and know how harmful it can be to waste several months of your time in vain.
Additionally, choosing the wrong Trademark Classes can get you into trouble after you complete the registration process for your trademark. If you are using your mark for a class of products or services for which they were not registered, you could be unwittingly infringing another registered trademark.
If you discover that you have registered a trademark in the wrong trademark class, the USPTO will not allow you to switch to another class, nor will you be able to switch from products to services, and you will have no other option but to start over with a new trademark application.
Our skilled and experienced Trademark Attorneys at Jurado & Farshchian, P.L. are highly familiar with the needs of business owners and businesses in Florida and they will help you make sure you always choose the right classes for your trademarks.
Selecting the Right Trademark Classes * Do Not Do it Without HelpAs you might have realized, selecting the correct Trademark Classes for your business is indescribably important; however, it is not always easy. Conducting a thorough trademark search may help you see how the USPTO has classified similar services or products in the past, and it will certainly help you find any trademarks that may be confusingly similar to yours. However, the help of a qualified Trademark Attorney who understand the registration process and has experience handling the kind of issues that might arise down the road is crucial and irreplaceable. Many inexperienced business owners underestimate the importance of legal help during trademark applications * do not make that mistake.
If you find yourself needing to choose a trademark class for your products or services, talk to a Jurado & Farshchian Trademark Attorney today!
One of the members of our team of experts will answer all of your questions about Trademark Classes and help you make sure your trademark application is strong and has no risk of USPTO rejection.