A common misconception about trademarks is that your registration means that NO ONE in the whole world can use the same name. WRONG! Just because you have a registered trademark does not mean that your brand can never be used again. This is because when you get your trademark registration, your protections are only within the specific industry listed on your registration certificate known as your trademark class. Now what is a class?
In the U.S. trademark office, each product or service is identified by a trademark class. It’s a number that tells the trademark office what type of business you’re in and how your brand is being used. When you file your trademark application, you have to include what product or service you’re selling and select your trademark class. When you get your exclusive right to use your brand it will only be within the class you choose.
The trademark classifications are separated by goods and services. For example, class 25 is for clothing, class 05 is for pharmaceuticals, class 42 is for software development services. So if your brand is “COOLINKS” and you applied for a trademark in class 25 for t-shirts, technically someone else can still register “COOLINKS” for pharmaceutical pills under class 005 and for software in class 42.
That’s why the class you choose to register your trademark is extremely important to your application. It’s also super confusing knowing exactly how to identify your business with the trademark classes. Often times, trademark applications have more than class because they use their brand in more than one kind of industry.
This is why it’s always recommend having your trademark attorney prepare your trademark application for you and select the right class for your brand. The last thing anyone wants is to spend time to fill out the application, submit it, wait for the examining attorney to review it, and then find out you cannot register the mark because it is in the wrong class. Or even worse, you go through the whole trademark process, find out you didn’t include all the classes and have to start all over again.
Thinking of submitting this application on your own? Check out our sister company Trademark Me Now – offering an online course teaching you how to CORRECTLY submit your trademark application without hiring a lawyer. What better time to save money and learn how to get your own trademark than during this quarantine?!
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This is one tiny part of the trademark application process but it certainly is one of the most important ones. Give us a call