Trademark Class 12: Vehicles

Choose Class 12 if you're registering trademarks for vehicles that travel via land, water, or air.

By , Attorney (Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law)
Updated by Amanda Hayes, Attorney (University of North Carolina School of Law)

Trademark Class 12 includes vehicles, devices, machines, and apparatus for locomotion by land, air, or water. This class also includes motors and engines for land vehicles, as well as couplings, transmission components, and air cushion vehicles.

Specifically, the class includes cars, bicycles, ships, planes, trains, wheels, engines, and strollers.

What Goods Are Included Under Trademark Class 12?

The following is a more comprehensive list of Class 12 goods:

  • Automobiles, motor cars, electric vehicles, ambulances, automobiles, caissons [vehicles], camping trailers, motor homes, carts, trolleys, concrete mixing vehicles, golf carts, forklift trucks, lorries, trucks, mopeds, motor cars, motor buses, motor coaches, motorcycles, refrigerated vehicles, remotely controlled land vehicles for transport, motor scooters, sleighs for transport purposes, snowmobiles, sports cars, sprinkling trucks, tractors, trailers, luggage carriers, military vehicles for transport, and vans.
  • Carts, strollers, bicycles, tricycles not being toys, delivery bicycles, handling carts, shopping carts, prams, baby carriages, pushchairs, tilt trucks, tilting-carts, wagons, and wheelbarrows.
  • Wheelchairs, mobility scooters, chair lifts, and vehicles for the physically handicapped and those of reduced mobility.
  • Light rail vehicles, railway carriages, dining cars, locomotives, tramcars, and refrigerated railway wagons.
  • Apparatus for locomotion by air and space, airplanes, hot air balloons, air vehicles, aircraft, amphibious airplanes, dirigible balloons, airships, parachutes, seaplanes, aerial conveyors, space vehicles, and ski lifts.
  • Ships, boats, barges, dredgers, ferry boats, hydroplanes, launches, pontoon boats, sculls, stern oars, water vehicles, yachts, and air cushion vehicles.
  • Axles for vehicles, vehicle chassis, bands for wheel hubs, bodies for vehicles, brake shoes for vehicles, brake linings for vehicles, brake segments for vehicles, brake discs for vehicles, brakes for vehicles, caps for vehicle fuel tanks, connecting rods for land vehicles other than parts of motors and engines, covers for baby strollers, steering wheels covers, doors for vehicles, headrests for vehicle seats, headlight wipers, hydraulic circuits for vehicles, luggage nets for vehicles, pushchair hoods, fitted car seat covers, shock absorbing springs for vehicles, sleeping berths for vehicles, spoilers for vehicles, steering wheels for vehicles, sun blinds adapted for automobiles, suspension shock absorbers for vehicles, elevating tailgates being parts of land vehicles, power tailgates being parts of land vehicles, torsion bars for vehicles, turbines for land vehicles, undercarriages for vehicles, upholstery for vehicles, fitted vehicle covers, vehicle bumpers, vehicle seats, vehicle suspension springs, and vehicle windows.
  • Wheels, tires, air pumps for automobiles, antiskid chains for vehicle tires, automobile tires, balance weights for vehicle wheels, bicycle tires, casings for pneumatic tires, casters for shopping carts, flanges for railway wheel tires, freewheels for motorcycles, hub caps, hubs for vehicle wheels, inner tubes for pneumatic tires, inner tubes for cycles, mine cart wheels, non-skid devices for vehicle tires, adhesive rubber patches for repairing inner tubes, pneumatic tires, bicycle pumps, tire pumps, vehicle wheel rims, bicycle wheel rims, spare wheel covers, spare tire covers, antiskid spikes for vehicle tires, spoke clips for wheels, spokes for bicycles, treads for retreading tires, tubeless tires for bicycles, valves for vehicle tires, and wheel bearings for land vehicles.
  • Antitheft devices for vehicles, airbags, antitheft alarms for vehicles, ejector seats for aircraft, horns for vehicles, electric reversing alarms for vehicles, safety belts for vehicle seats, safety seats for children for vehicles, seat safety harnesses for motor cars, and parachute harnesses.
  • Boat hooks, kayak paddles, boat cleats, davits for boats, fenders for ships, masts for boats, oars, paddles for canoes, portholes, rowlocks, rudders, screw propellers, ship propellers, ship hulls, spars for ships, and steering gears for ships.
  • Drive chains for land vehicles, vehicle hoods, automobile chassis, automobile bodies, automobile hoods, baskets adapted for bicycles, cycle bells, bicycle stands, bicycle saddles, bogies for railway cars, brake pads for automobiles, bicycle brakes, buffers for railway rolling stock, automobile bumpers, bicycle chains, cigar lighters for automobiles, clutches for land vehicles, couplings for land vehicles, crankcases for land vehicle components other than for engines, cranks for cycles, bicycle mudguards, mudguards for automobiles, vehicle wheel hubs, direction signals for vehicles/turn signals for vehicles, direction indicators for bicycles, dress chain guards for bicycles, bicycle frames, funnels for locomotives, gearboxes, gearing for land vehicles, gears for bicycles, handlebars, hoods for vehicle engines, luggage carriers for automobiles, panniers adapted for cycles, bicycle pedals, railway couplings, rearview mirrors, reduction gears for land vehicles, rolling stock for railways, saddle covers for bicycles or motorcycles, saddlebags adapted for bicycles, saddles for bicycles, shock absorbers for automobiles, side cars, ski carriers for cars, tipping bodies for lorries, torque converters for land vehicles, trailer hitches, transmission chains for land vehicles, transmission shafts for land vehicles, transmissions for land vehicles, vehicle running boards, automobile windshields, and windshield wiper blades.
  • Automobile engines, driving motors for land vehicles, engines for land vehicles, motors for land vehicles, jet engines for land vehicles, bicycle motors, electric motors for land vehicles, and vehicle power train mechanisms comprised of clutch, transmission, drive shaft, and differential.

What Goods Aren't Included Under Class 12?

But Class 12 isn't as broad as you might expect. Specifically, you would not use Class 12 if you're applying for:

Examples of Trademarks in Class 12

You can find trademarks that have been applied for or registered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) under Class 12 in the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), an electronic trademark database.

Some well-known examples of Class 12 marks include:

  • FORD (cars and trucks)
  • GOODYEAR (tires), and
  • TREK (bicycles).

USPTO Trademark Classes

The USPTO, the federal agency that oversees the registration of federal trademarks, divides marks into 45 different classes of products and services. The purpose of these classes is to allow different types of businesses to register their trademarks into categories most related to their core business.

The first 34 classes consist of different broad categories of goods. The last 11 classes consist of different broad categories of services.

Related or Coordinated Classes to Class 12

If you're not sure whether you should apply for your mark under Class 12, you can consider a "coordinated" class. A coordinated class is one that's related to another class, usually because the USPTO has determined that applicants filing within one particular class often file in other specific classes, too.

For Class 12, the PTO has determined the following classes to be coordinated classes:

Trademark Filing Fees

The trademark class system will also affect the scope of the registration fees that you pay. The USPTO charges a set filing fee per class of goods or services. So, if you apply for a trademark for posters (Class 16) and shirts (Class 25), you must pay the filing fee for two classes, which is double the filing fee for one class. (37 C.F.R. §2.6(a)(1)(2022).)

Be sure to indicate the correct class at the time you're registering a trademark—if the application doesn't already do so for you. If you list the incorrect class, you must restart the application process, and your filing fees will not be refunded.

Your registration is restricted to those classes that encompass the goods or services you're already offering (as shown by the specimens you submit) or that you plan to offer (if you're registering on an intent-to-use basis).

USPTO Specimens

At some point in the trademark application process, you'll need to supply the USPTO with a specimen. A specimen is a real-world example of how your mark is being used in association with your goods or services. In other words, it's how customers come across your mark as they shop for your goods or services.

If you're applying for a use-in-commerce trademark (you're already using your trademark to sell your goods or services), then you'll submit a specimen with your trademark application. If you're applying for an intent-to-use trademark (you haven't started using your trademark yet but plan to), then you'll submit a specimen after you've already submitted your trademark application once the trademark examiner—the person at the USPTO reviewing your application—requests it from you.

For every class of goods or services, you'll need to submit at least one specimen regardless of how many goods or services are listed under the class. So, if you apply for hats, t-shirts, and socks under Class 25, then you'll only need to submit one specimen and you can choose which good to include in your specimen.

(37 C.F.R. §2.34(b)(2)(2022).)

Acceptable Specimens for a Goods Trademark

The specimen must show the mark as used on or in connection with the goods in commerce. Specifically, a specimen for a goods trademark must show use of the mark in a manner that would be perceived by potential purchasers as identifying the applicant's goods and indicating the goods' source.

When a trademark is on the good itself or on the packaging or containers of the goods, photographs or facsimiles showing the trademark in use on or with the goods are acceptable.

A specimen for a goods trademark can appear:

  • On the good itself. The trademark can be imprinted on the body of the goods, as with metal stamping; it can be applied by a rubber stamp; or it can be inked on by using a stencil or template.
  • On a tag for the good. For example, you could include your trademark on a sales tag above the product price, or it can be printed below the product specifications on a mattress tag.
  • On a label for the good. For instance, your trademark could be on the UPC barcode sticker or on a drink's ingredients label. You could also use shipping or mailing labels affixed to the goods as long as the trademark functions as an indicator of the good's source. For example, if the trademark appears only on the return address, then the specimen wouldn't be appropriate.
  • Directly on the packaging or container for the good. The trademark can be on any type of commercial packaging that's normal for the particular goods as they move in trade, such as shipping boxes or shelf display packaging. For instance, gasoline pumps are normal containers or "packaging" for gasoline.
  • On a display associated with the goods. If you sell your goods at trade shows or community events, your trademark could be printed out next to a display of your goods as long as customers can connect your trademark with the goods. For example, your trademark could be printed on the tablecloth at your booth or on a sign hanging from your pop-up tent.

(37 C.F.R. §2.56(2022).)

Webpage Listing for a Goods Trademark

If you sell your goods online—whether on your own website or on a third-party online marketplace—you can use a screenshot of the webpage where your good is listed for sale as your specimen.

The webpage must include:

  • your trademark, either in the webpage header or in another prominent position
  • a picture or description of your good, and
  • a way for consumers to immediately purchase your good, such as an "add to cart" or "buy now" option.

If you use this kind of specimen, be sure you include—either on the screenshot or in the application—the website URL and the date you last accessed the webpage. (37 C.F.R. §2.56(c)(2022).)

While most marks appear in writing somewhere, trademarks can also be in audio format. If your mark represents a service, and it appears only on radio ads or in some other audio form, you can submit a sound file of the audio.

For more information about trademarks and federal registration, see our section on trademark law.

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