The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the federal agency in charge of managing federal trademark registration, categorizes marks into 45 different “classes” of products or services. The goal of these classes is to allow different types of businesses to register their trademarks in categories that are most closely related to their core business.
Customers are unlikely to be confused about the source of origin between these extremely different goods if a mark registered in one class (for example, medicine) infringes on a mark registered in a completely different class (for example, clothing). After all, one would never guess that a pharmaceutical company called “EcoHealth” also manufactures socks. As a result, because the marks are registered in different classes, they can coexist with the same trademark.
Examples of Trademarks in Class 25
Consider marks such as that of INFINITE EARTH (T-shirts and tops), ROYAL PREMIUM (jeans), and GOLF REPUBLIC (sweaters, blazers), all of which are examples of Class 25.
Related or Coordinated Classes
A coordinated class is related to another trademark class, typically because the PTO has determined that applicants filing in Class 25 frequently also file in the coordinated classes. If you are undecided about enrolling in Class 25, you may want to look into the “coordinated” classes listed below: Precious metals (Class 14), leather goods (Class 18), building materials (Class 19), textiles (Class 24), advertising and business services (Class 35), and science and technology services (Class 42).
However, keep in mind that you must pay a separate registration fee for each class of goods or services that you register. So, if you want to apply for a trademark for posters (Class 16) and shirts (Class 25), you’ll have to pay two fees.
When registering a trademark, you must specify the correct class. If you enter the wrong class, you must restart the application process. Your registration is limited to classes that include the goods or services that you already offer (as evidenced by the specimens you submit) or that you intend to offer (if you are registering on an intend-to-use basis). In order to narrow a search of the PTO’s trademark database, you may also need information about the class number.
Specimens to Supply for Class 25
If you are registering a mark that is currently in use in commerce, you must provide a specimen of the mark as it is seen by consumers. The specimen must show the mark as it is used on or in connection with commercial goods. A trademark specimen should be a label, tag, or container for the goods, or a display relating to the goods. Acceptable is a photocopy or other reproduction of a specimen of the mark as it is actually used on or in connection with the goods.
A label is an acceptable specimen in most cases where the trademark is applied to the goods or containers for the goods in Class 25 by means of labels. Shipping or mailing labels may be accepted if they are attached to the goods or containers for the goods and show proper trademark usage. They are not acceptable if the mark as shown is used as a trade name rather than a trademark. One example is using the term solely as a return address.
A proper method of trademark affixation is to stamp a trademark on the goods, on the container, or tags or labels attached to the goods or containers. The trademark can be imprinted in the body of the goods, as with metal stamping, applied with a rubber stamp, or inked on with a stencil or template. Photographs or facsimiles of the actual stamping or stenciling are acceptable as specimens when a trademark is used in this manner.
The phrase “applied to the containers for the goods” refers to any type of commercial packaging that is standard for the specific goods as they move in trade. As a result, displaying the trademark on the normal commercial package for the specific Class 25 goods is an acceptable specimen. Gasoline pumps, for example, are standard containers or “packaging” for gasoline.
If this is the normal mode of use of a mark for the particular goods, a specimen showing the use of the trademark on a vehicle in which the goods are marketed to the relevant purchasers may constitute use of the mark on a container for the goods.