TRADEMARK CLASS 9: Computers, Software and Electronics

The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) separate trademarks into 45 different “classes” of goods or services when structuring its registry. Examiners of trademarks are aware that not all trademarks are in direct competition with one another. A buyer looking to purchase a scientific instrument from “Investigator Specialties” would not be confused with a private investigation firm of the same name. Reasonable customers would recognize that they do not share the same source or overlap. As a result, both trademarks can coexist without causing confusion.

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Class 9 includes scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signaling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting.

The Trademark Class System

A class system governs trademark registration. 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. You must restart the application process if you list the incorrect class. 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 you are registering on an intent-to-use basis).

Trademarks in Class 9

Consider marks like DISH (digital video recorders), ORACLE SUPERCLUSTER (computer hardware), OPENTABLE (computer software and mobile application), and BSX (portable tablets). All of these are examples of Class 9 trademarks.

You would choose Class 9 if you were registering any of these types of goods:

  1. apparatus and instruments for scientific research in laboratories,
  2. apparatus and instruments for controlling ships, such as apparatus and instruments for measuring and for transmitting orders,
  3. protractors,
  4. punched card office machines,
  5. All computer programs and software regardless of recording media or means of dissemination, that is, software recorded on magnetic media or downloaded from a remote computer network.

Being such a broad category, it’s also important to note what DOES NOT qualify for classification under Class 9:

  1. Control clocks,
  2. Clocks, watches, and other chronometric instruments,
  3. Electromechanical kitchen apparatuses like grinders or mixers,
  4. Apparatuses for dispensing or pumping fuel,
  5. Electric toothbrushes and combs,
  6. Electric clippers, razors, and flat irons,
  7. Game and amusement apparatuses used with a monitor or external display screen.

Coordinated Classes

Related classes, otherwise known as coordinated classes, are similar classes to Class 9 and may require you to register for another class. These include:

Why is Trademark Class 9 Important?

Due to its extraordinarily broad definition of electrical devices, Class 9 has become the most extensively used trademark class in recent years. Almost all computers and software, as well as common electronics, are classified as Class 9. It’s worth noting, though, that products like domestic utilities and appliances have their own classification.

Class 9 Specimens

When you register a trademark for commercial use, you must provide the USPTO a sample or specimen of the mark. A tag, label, or container can be used as a specimen. A photocopy or reproduction of a specimen can also be provided.

Labels are the most common specimens with Class 9 marks. Labels for mailing or shipping are acceptable as long as they are affixed to the products or container and reflect proper trademark usage. If the mark depicted is simply used as a trade name, such as on a return address label, you cannot use a shipping label.

Stamping a trademark on your goods, including labels, tags, and containers, is the right way to apply it. You can use a rubber stamp, a metal stamp, or a template or stencil to ink it on. Photographs of the stamping process are admissible as specimens when used in this way.

The expression “applied to the containers for the goods” may be used to describe how the mark is applied to any sort of commercial packaging. As a result, as long as it’s the regular method of trademark use for your particular good, showing the brand on commercial packaging is an acceptable specimen when registering under Class 9.

One of the most common trademark classes for new applications is Class 9. As a result, your trademark may encounter competition or be scrutinized more closely. Other popular classes are:

  • Class 25 (Clothing): This includes clothing, footwear, and headgear.
  • Class 35: (Advertising and Business Services): This includes advertising, business administration, and office functions.
  • Class 41 (Education and Entertainment): This includes publishing, teaching, and entertainment services.

Class 42 (Computer and Scientific): This includes technology, scientific, and research services.