The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which regulates the registration of federal trademarks, categorizes them into 45 “classes” of goods and services. The goal of these several classes is to allow a wide range of firms to register their trademarks in the categories that are most relevant to their primary business.
The division of trademarks into classes allows business executives to be more creative in how they represent their products or services without fear of infringement. Because they are in distinct classes, an allergy medication called “Ever Clear” would not infringe on a window cleaning product with the same name.
Pharmaceuticals and other medical and veterinary treatments are mostly included in Class 5.
Examples of Trademarks in Class 5
Consider ARM & HAMMER (odor-neutralizing liners), STEMULITE (dietary supplement), and SUMMADEX AM (vitamin supplements), all of which are good examples of Class 5 marks.
You would choose Class 5 if you were registering any of these types of goods:
- Sanitary preparations for personal hygiene, other than toiletries.
- Deodorants other than for human beings or animals.
- Dietary supplements, intended to supplement a normal diet or to have health benefits.
- meal replacements, dietetic food, and beverages, adapted for medical or veterinary use, or
- Cigarettes without tobacco, for medical purposes.
You would not use Class 5 if you were registering:
- sanitary preparations being toiletries (Class 3 – Cosmetics and Cleaning Substances)
- deodorants for human beings or animals (Class 3 – Cosmetics and Cleaning Substances)
- supportive bandages (Class 10 – Medical Supplies), or
- meal replacements, dietetic food, and beverages not for medical or veterinary use (Class 29 – Meat, Fish, Poultry, Class 30 – Coffee, Flour, Bread, Candy, and Rice Products, Class 31 – Grains, Agriculture, Class 32 – Beers and Beverages, Class 33 – Alcoholic Beverages).
Related or Coordinated Trademark Classes
If you’re not sure whether or not to enroll in Class 5, you might want to look into the “coordinated” classes listed below: Chemicals are classified as Class 1, Cosmetics and Cleaning Substances are classified as Class 3, Medical Supplies are classified as Class 10, Advertising and Business Services are classified as Class 35, Science and Technology Services are classified as Class 42, and Medical and Veterinary Services are classified as Class 44. A coordinated class is one that is linked to another, usually because the USPTO has found that applicants who file in Class 5 also file in these other classes.
Keep in mind that trademark class registration is not free. It is organized into classes. You must pay a separate registration fee for each class of products or services that you register for. You must pay two fees if you register for a trademark for posters (Class 16) and shirts (Class 25).
When you register a trademark, you must select the appropriate class. If you list the incorrect class, you must restart the application process. Your registrations are limited to classes that cover the goods or services you already offer (as evidenced by the specimens you submit) or plan to offer in the future (if registering on an intent-to-use basis). In order to refine a search of the USPTO’s trademark database, you may also require information regarding the class number.
Furnishing Specimens for Class 5
If the mark is utilized in commerce, you must provide a sample of the mark as it appears to customers. The mark must be seen on or in connection with the products in commerce on the specimen. A trademark specimen should be a label, tag, or container for the goods, or an associated display. It is acceptable to provide a photocopy or other reproduction of a specimen of the mark as it is used on or in connection with the products.
A label is an acceptable specimen in most cases where the trademark is applied to the goods or containers for the goods in Class 5 by means of labels. If shipping or mailing labels are placed to the items or the containers holding the goods, and if valid trademark usage is established, they may be accepted. If the mark is just used as a trade name and not as a trademark, they are not acceptable. The use of the phrase purely as a return address is an example of this.
A legitimate form of trademark affixation is to stamp a trademark on the goods, the container, or on tags or labels connected to the goods or containers. The trademark can be imprinted in the goods’ body, as with metal stamping; it can be applied with a rubber stamp, or it can be inked on with the help of a stencil or template. Photographs or facsimiles of the real stamping or stenciling are permitted as specimens when a trademark is utilized in this way.
The word “applied to the containers for the commodities” refers to any sort of commercial packaging that is customary for the specific goods as they move through trade. As a result, a display of the trademark on a typical commercial package for Class 5 items is an acceptable specimen. If this is the regular method of use of a mark for the particular products, a specimen showing the use of the trademark on a vehicle in which the goods are marketed to the relevant purchasers may represent the use of the mark on a container for the goods.