BEGINNER'S GUIDE: 10 STEPS TO PROTECT YOUR BRAND TODAY!YES, PLEASE.
GET THE GUIDE!

blog

Why do Trademark Classifications Matter?

GET THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BRAND PROTECTION!

10 STEPS ...DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX NOW

Subscribe Me

Correctly identifying the classification of a brand’s particular goods and services is arguably the most critical part of the trademark application. A failure to correctly identify the goods and services for which a mark will be used, may result in a rejection of the application and a failure to register the trademark. The United States Patent and Trademark Office will not refund application fees, so this can be a costly mistake.

Currently, the USPTO charges a nonrefundable application fee of $250 for each classification. When a trademark application is submitted, a drawing or standard character(s) of the mark, as well as a specimen, must be provided. A specimen demonstrates how the mark identifies that particular good or service in commerce. Within each registration class, applicants must list each particular item that the mark intends to use in commerce.

For example, if you are applying for a trademark in class #25, clothing, you must list what kind of clothing you plan to sell, i.e., skirts, shorts, t-shirts, etc. After your application is submitted, it will be reviewed by a USPTO examining attorney, who will ensure that there are no registered or unregistered trademarks that conflict with your application. It is important to perform due diligence PRIOR to submitting an application to ensure that there are no existing trademarks that conflict with your application (a search and clearance). As mistakes in a trademark application can be costly, it is advisable to consult an experienced trademark attorney to assist with this process.

In a video explaining goods and services classification on the USPTO website, understanding classification of goods and services is broken down quite simply. The question here is “what do your customers actually purchase from you”? If they purchase a tangible product, your company is in the business of selling goods, and you will need to select the appropriate goods classification for your mark. If your company is hired to perform specific activities, your company is engaged in providing services, and you will need to choose the appropriate service mark to fit your business.

Essentially, goods are indicated by a trademark and services are indicated by a service mark. An applicant can research the current acceptable classifications of goods and services for a mark application using the USPTO’s Trademark ID Manual. If the goods or services classification that best describes a product is not in the Trademark ID Manual, applicants are able to submit another type of application at a higher fee. It must be stressed again that getting the classification close is not acceptable to the USPTO. The description of product or service must be entirely accurate, otherwise this can prevent the registration of a trademark. The application must specify the actual goods or service for which the mark is being used (or intended to be used).

Accurately classifying a mark can be a complex process. As mentioned above, accuracy on this portion of the application is vital to the successful completion of the registration process. Working with an experienced intellectual property attorney can assist you with every step of the trademark application process, and ensure your application is submitted correctly.

GET THE BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO BRAND PROTECTION!

10 STEPS ...DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX NOW

Subscribe Me