At the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, all products and services are divided into 45 “classes.” For example, most clothing falls into Class 25. One of the biggest classes covering a wide range of services is trademark Class 42. Trademark classes are administrative, and do not affect your trademark rights. However, you will need to choose a class of products/services for your trademark application. Knowing more about these classes can make it easier to navigate the application process.
What Is Trademark Class 42?
International Class 42 is a service class, meaning that it includes services instead of products. In general terms, this class mostly covers a wide variety of technology services. For example, information technology (IT) services, such as consulting, are included in this class. In addition, software provided as a service (i.e. SaaS) is also under trademark Class 42. It also covers the service of creating an online community. Outside of technological services, this class also includes scientific and research services. For example, “scientific research” is an acceptable description of services in this class.
Using the Trademark ID Manual, you can find a way to accurately describe your services in a way that is acceptable to the USPTO.
Examples of Class 42 Trademarks
You are likely already familiar with many trademarks that have been registered for a variety of services in trademark Class 42. Some of these trademarks include:
Trademark Classes With Related Products/Services
When conducting a trademark search, it is always important to not just zero in on a single class. Although you may offer services in Class 42, it is possible that you could be rejected based on a likelihood of confusion with a trademark registered in another class. The importance of classes is frequently overstated. Here are some classes with products or services that are more strongly related to trademark Class 42 services than others (though this is not a comprehensive list):
- International Class 9: Downloadable software; Computer hardware
- International Class 41: Providing online computer games
- International Class 45: Providing online social networking services
Of these, you are most likely to find potential conflicts in Class 9, particularly if you provide IT services or software as a service. That is because Class 9 contains the “product” version of some trademark Class 42 services. For example, it is common for software providers to provide both a software application (an “app”) as well as a version of the software accessible from a web browser. The downloadable app is a product, since is a tangible thing that you can possess (even if you cannot physically hold it). The web version, on the other hand, is provided as a service. If Google shuts down its servers, you will not be able to conduct a Google search from your web browser.
Specimens for Class 42
To show the Trademark Office how you use your trademark, you have to provide a specimen. For most services, it is easiest to provide a screenshot from your website to show how you are using your trademark. This is no different for trademark Class 42. Assuming that your website is branded with the name, logo, or slogan, you just need to make sure the screenshots capture descriptions of the services that you provide. If you do not have a website, you might provide screenshots of your social media page if it is properly branded and describes your services. On the other hand, if your business is not on the web you can use printed materials used to advertise your business to meet this requirement.
Seeking Assistance For Your Trademark Class 42 Application?
Regardless of the class your products/services fall into, you should work with an experienced trademark professional that will give you the best chance at successful registration. Please feel free to call me at (480) 360-3499, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete the contact form found on this page to schedule your free initial consultation today. I look forward to speaking with you.