The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which is the federal agency charged with managing the registration of federal trademarks, divides marks into 45 different "classes" of products or services. The purpose of these classes is to allow different types of businesses to register their trademarks in categories most related to their core business.
A mark registered in one class (for example, medicine) does not infringe on a mark registered for a totally different class (for example, clothing), because customers are unlikely to be confused about the source of origin between these extremely different goods. After all, one would never assume that a pharmaceutical company called "EcoHealth" is the same company that also manufactures socks. For this reason, both can exist with the same trademark independently of one another, as the marks are registered in different classes.
Class 25, one of those 45 classes, includes clothing, footwear, and headgear. For a complete listing of all goods in Class 25, see below. For more information about trademarks and federal registration, see Nolo's articles on Trademark Law.
Consider marks such as that of INFINITE EARTH (T-shirts and tops), ROYAL PREMIUM (jeans), and GOLF REPUBLIC (sweaters, blazers), all of which are examples of Class 25.
A coordinated class is one that is related to another trademark class, usually because the PTO has determined that applicants filing within Class 25 often file in the coordinated classes, too. If you are not sure whether you should register in Class 25, you might also consider the following “coordinated” classes: Class 14 - Precious Metals, Class 18 - Leather Goods, Class 19 - Building Materials, Class 24 - Textiles, Class 35 - Advertising and Business Services, and Class 42 - Science and Technology Services.
Remember, though, that for each class of goods or services that you register, you must pay a separate registration fee. So if you apply for a trademark for posters (Class 16) and shirts (Class 25), you must pay two fees.
You must indicate the correct class at the time you are registering a trademark. If you list the incorrect class, you must start the application process over. Your registrations are restricted to those classes that encompass the goods or services you are already offering (as shown by the specimens you submit) or that you plan to offer (if you are registering on an intend-to-use basis). You may also need information about the class number in order to narrow a search of the PTO's trademark database.
If you are registering a mark that is currently being used in commerce, you must furnish a specimen of the mark as consumers see it. The specimen must show the mark as used on or in connection with the goods in commerce. A trademark specimen should be a label, tag, or container for the goods, or a display associated with the goods. A photocopy or other reproduction of a specimen of the mark as actually used on or in connection with the goods is acceptable.
In most cases, where the trademark is applied to the goods or the containers for the goods in Class 25 by means of labels, a label is an acceptable specimen. Shipping or mailing labels may be accepted if they are affixed to the goods or to the containers for the goods and if proper trademark usage is shown. They are not acceptable if the mark as shown is merely used as a trade name and not as a trademark. An example of this is the use of the term solely as a return address.
Stamping a trademark on the goods, on the container, or on tags or labels attached to the goods or containers, is a proper method of trademark affixation. The trademark may be imprinted in the body of the goods, as with metal stamping; it may be applied by a rubber stamp; or it may be inked on by using a stencil or template. When a trademark is used in this manner, photographs or facsimiles showing the actual stamping or stenciling are acceptable as specimens.
The terminology “applied to the containers for the goods” means applied to any type of commercial packaging that is normal for the particular goods as they move in trade. Thus, a showing of the trademark on the normal commercial package for the particular Class 25 goods is an acceptable specimen. For example, gasoline pumps are normal containers or “packaging” for gasoline.
A specimen showing use of the trademark on a vehicle in which the goods are marketed to the relevant purchasers may constitute use of the mark on a container for the goods, if this is the normal mode of use of a mark for the particular goods.