The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the federal agency charged with management of trademarks, divides marks into 45 different "classes" of products or services. A mark that is registered in one class does not infringe on a mark registered in a separate class. For example, an advertising firm with the trademarked name "Brand-It" does not infringe on the trademark of a company that manufactures cattle-branding devices by the same name. Why? Because the primary purpose of trademark law is to protect consumers from confusion, and in such a situation, no reasonable consumer would be confused.
Class 35 includes services for advertising, business management, administration, and office functions. It includes mainly services rendered by persons or organizations principally to (1) help in the working or management of a commercial undertaking; (2) help in the management of the business affairs or commercial functions of an industrial or commercial enterprise; or (3) help in advertising such commercial services.
In particular, Class 35 includes:
- the bringing together, for the benefit of others, of a variety of goods, enabling customers to conveniently view and purchase those goods; such services may be provided by retail stores, wholesale outlets, through mail order catalogs or by means of electronic media, for example, through websites or television shopping programs
- services consisting of the registration, transcription, composition, compilation or systematization of written communications and registrations, and also the compilation of mathematical or statistical data
- services of advertising agencies and services such as the distribution of prospectuses, directly or through the post, or the distribution of samples. This Class may refer to advertising in connection with other services, such as those concerning bank loans or advertising by radio.
For a complete listing of all goods in Class 35, see below.
Federal Trademark Class System
Trademark registration is based on a class system. 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), in addition to advertising (Class 35), you must pay all three 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 intent-to-use basis). You may also need information about the class number in order to narrow a search of the PTO's trademark database.
For more information on trademark law and federal trademark registration, check out Nolo's articles on Trademark Law.
Examples of Trademarks in Class 35
Examples within Class 35 include: PERFECT POINT MARKETING (advertising consultancy), AIRBNB (online business directories), and LINKTECH (online advertising).
Related or Coordinated Classes
If unsure whether to register in Class 35, you might also consider one of the following "coordinated" classes: Class 36 - Insurance and Finance Services, Class 37 - Construction and Repair Services, Class 38 - Telecommunications Services, Class 39 - Shipping and Travel Services, Class 40 - Material Treatment Services, Class 41 - Education and Entertainment Services, Class 42 - Science and Technology Services, Class 43 - Food Services, Class 44 - Medical and Veterinary Services, or Class 45 - Legal and Security Services.
A coordinated class is one that is related to another class, usually because the PTO has determined that applicants filing within Class 35 often file in the coordinated classes, too.
Supplying Specimens for Class 35
A specimen for service must show use of the mark in a manner that would be perceived by potential purchasers as identifying the applicant's services and indicating their source.
Where the mark is used in advertising the services, the specimen must show an association between the mark and the services for which registration is sought. A specimen that shows only the mark, with no reference to the services, does not show service mark usage.
When you are offering a service, you have no product to which you can affix a label. Acceptable specimens for services include a variety of materials that can't be used for product marks. This includes scanned copies of advertising and marketing materials, such as newspaper and magazine ads, brochures, billboards, direct mail pieces, and menus (for restaurants).
Letterhead stationery and business cards showing the mark may be used if the services are plainly reflected on them, because the name or symbol being claimed as a mark would, in that context, be used to identify the services provided—that is, as a mark rather than as a trade name. A letter on stationery will even be accepted as a specimen for a service mark if the mark appears and the services are described in the letter.
In cases of services rendered over the Internet, a screen shot of the full Web page should be fine. If the mark is being prominently displayed on the home page, so much the better.
The following are unacceptable specimens for marks for Class 35 services:
- news releases or articles based on news releases
- documents showing trademark rather than service mark usage (use of the mark in connection with goods rather than services)
- invoices and similar documents such as packing slips, and
- letterhead or business cards that bear only the mark and a company name and address are not adequate specimens (use of the mark to identify a company, such as on letterhead). As discussed earlier, one exception to this is if the letterhead or the text of the letter identifies the services represented by the mark.
You might wonder about the role of audio as an acceptable specimen. Most marks appear in writing somewhere. If your mark represents a service, and it appears only on radio ads or in some other audio form, you may submit a sound file of the audio.
Complete Listing of All Goods in Class 35 Based on Taxonomy
- Advertising, marketing and promotional services, advertising/publicity, advertising agencies/publicity agencies, bill-posting/outdoor advertising, layout services for advertising purposes, marketing, modelling for advertising or sales promotion, on-line advertising on a computer network, production of advertising films, publication of publicity texts, publicity columns preparation, publicity material rental, radio advertising/radio commercials, sales promotion for others, sponsorship search, telemarketing services, television advertising/television commercials, updating of advertising material, writing of publicity texts.
- Public relations services, public relations.
- Product demonstrations and product display services, demonstration of goods, presentation of goods on communication media, for retail purposes, shop window dressing.
- Trade show and exhibition services, organization of fashion shows for promotional purposes, organization of exhibitions for commercial or advertising purposes, organization of trade fairs for commercial or advertising purposes, Loyalty, incentive and bonus program services.
- Provision of advertising space, time and media, rental of advertising space, rental of advertising time on communication media.
- Distribution of advertising, marketing and promotional material, advertising by mail order, direct mail advertising, dissemination of advertising matter, distribution of samples.
- Advertising, marketing and promotional consultancy, advisory and assistance services, Commercial trading and consumer information services, administrative processing of purchase orders, arranging newspaper subscriptions for others, arranging subscriptions to telecommunication services for others, commercial information and advice for consumers [consumer advice shop], commercial administration of the licensing of the goods and services of others, import-export agencies, price comparison services, procurement services for others [purchasing goods and services for other businesses].
- Retail and wholesale services, retail or wholesale services for pharmaceutical, veterinary and sanitary preparations and medical supplies.
- Auctioneering services, auctioneering.
- Rental of vending machines, rental of vending machines.
- Business assistance, management and administrative services, business management assistance, business inquiries, business management of hotels, business management of performing artists, business management of sports people, commercial or industrial management assistance, business efficiency expert services, outsourcing services [business assistance], relocation services for businesses, telephone answering for unavailable subscribers.
- Accountancy, book keeping and auditing, book-keeping/accounting, business auditing, drawing up of statements of accounts, tax preparation.
- Administrative data processing, compilation of information into computer databases, data search in computer files for others, computerized file management, systemization of information into computer databases.
- Human resources management and recruitment services, employment agencies, personnel recruitment, personnel management consultancy, psychological testing for the selection of personnel.
- Clerical services, document reproduction, invoicing, payroll preparation, photocopying services, secretarial services, shorthand, transcription, typing, word processing.
- Business consultancy and advisory services, business management consultancy, business management and organization consultancy, business organization consultancy, professional business consultancy, advisory services for business management.
- Rental of office machines, office machines and equipment rental, rental of photocopying machines.
- Business analysis, research and information services, business information, business appraisals, business investigations, business research, commercial information agencies, cost price analysis, economic forecasting, news clipping services.
- Market research, marketing research, marketing studies, opinion polling.
- Collection and systematization of business data, compilation of statistics.