The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), the federal agency in charge of 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.
Trademark Class 43 includes services provided by individuals or businesses whose primary goal is to prepare food and beverages for consumption, as well as services provided to obtain bed and board in hotels, boarding houses, or other establishments that provide temporary lodging. It also includes reservation services for travelers’ lodging, most notably through travel agencies or brokers, and boarding for animals.
The Trademark Class System
A class system governs trademark registration. 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 intent-to-use basis). In order to narrow a search of the PTO’s trademark database, you may also need information about the class number.
Examples of Trademarks in Class 43
There are numerous examples of marks in Class 43, including many restaurants that you are likely to have visited. Consider BURGER 21 (restaurant services), HAMBURGER HAMLET (restaurant services), and NAKEDPIZZA (restaurant services) (restaurant services).
If you were registering, you would not use Class 43:
- rental services for real estate such as houses, flats, etc., for permanent use (Class 36 – Insurance and Finance Services)
- arranging travel by tourist agencies (Class 39 – Shipping and Travel Services)
- preservation services for food and drink (Class 40 – Material Treatment Services)
- discotheque services (Class 41 – Education and Entertainment Services)
- boarding schools (Class 41 – Education and Entertainment Services)
- Rest and convalescent homes (Class 44 – Medical and Vet Services).
Related or Coordinated Classes
If you are not sure whether you should register in Class 43, you might also consider the following “coordinated” classes: Business Services, Class 36 – Insurance and Finance Services, Class 37 – Construction and Repair Services, Class 38 – Telecommunications Services, Class 39 – Shipping and Travel Services, Class 40 – Material Treatment Services, Class 41 – Education and Entertainment Services, Class 42 – Science and Technology Services, Class 44 – Medical and Vet Services, Class 45 – Legal and Security Services.
A coordinated class is one that is related to another class, typically because the USPTO has determined that applicants filing in Class 43 frequently also file in the coordinated classes.
Specimens for Class 43
A service specimen must demonstrate the use of the mark in a way that potential purchasers would interpret as identifying the applicant’s services and indicating their source. The specimen must show an association between the mark and the services for which registration is sought when the mark is used in advertising the services. A specimen that only shows the mark and no reference to the services does not demonstrate service mark usage.
When you provide a service, you do not have a product to which you can apply a label. A variety of materials that cannot be used for product marks are acceptable specimens for services. Scanned copies of advertising and marketing materials, such as newspaper and magazine ads, brochures, billboards, direct mail pieces, and menus, are included (for restaurants).
Letterhead stationery and business cards bearing the mark may be used if the services are clearly reflected on them because the name or symbol claimed as a mark would be used to identify the services provided in that context—that is, as a mark rather than a trade name. If the mark appears and the services are described in the letter, a letter on stationery will even be accepted as a specimen for a service mark.
In the case of Internet-based services, a screenshot of the entire Web page should suffice. The more prominently displayed the mark on the home page, the better.