In the United States, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is the issuing agency for trademark. Trademark registration is a long process. Filing an application is the first step after clearing the mark with a comprehensive search. When filing, all trademarks must be filed within a class of goods or services. The USPTO have 45 classifications and these classifications exist for goods and services. While searching for your trademark, you may find your mark registered. This registration may be in different goods or services.
Someone has my trademark registered for different goods and services?
The USPTO currently recognizes 45 classes. Of these, 34 exist for goods, and 11 exist for services. Choosing the wrong class can be detrimental to you as it limits your chances of a successful registration. You can only do business with the specified class and be protected with related classes. Let us look at an example. A intends to have a trademark for his chemical business. A submits an application to the USPTO. He chose class 19 instead of class 1. A is reluctant to correct the errors. Subsequently, A fails in trademark registration. Therefore, it is necessary for you to choose the appropriate class. Trademark law also requires a specimen that shows the mark being used in commerce for the class of goods or services. The legal risks of choosing the different class are:
- Preventing you from enforcing your trademark rights.
- Preventing you from engaging in the business with using your trademark.
- Your trademark application is more likely to be rejected.
Similar trademark names can exist within totally unrelated classes. Delta Dental, Delta Faucet, and Delta Airlines all have similar names. However, they are all registered trademarks because they do not confuse customers as they are all registered in different classes. Their goods and services are all recognizably different and don't create confusion.
A trademark examiner will only refuse your application for a likelihood of confusion if there is another mark that is similar in appearance AND in a related class of goods or services. What is a related class? A trademark attorney will help you determine which classes are related. Other marks registered in related classes that is not your class may be a bar against your mark. Understanding your class and related classes is important under U.S. Trademark law.
You can file an application for any class. Choosing the class should be appropriate. A wrongful class prevents your several rights. These risks can be avoided. Filing an application correctly reduces such risks. You can also hire a trademark attorney to reduce the consequences.
Let Karana IP get you from Application ™ to Registered Trademark ®.
If you have a new brand to protect, Karana IP has the ability to help you choose, protect, and enforce trademarks under state and federal law. Contact Karana IP Law, LLC, today if you have questions about the selection, registration, protection, or enforcement of your mark. If you would like to begin the trademark registration process, please submit a trademark intake form and Karana IP will contact you within 24 hours.