Trademark Class 36: Insurance and Financial Services

Choose Class 36 if you're registering a trademark for financial, insurance, monetary, and real estate services.

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

Trademark Class 36 includes services for insurance, financial, monetary, and real estate affairs. Registrants mainly use Class 36 for financial and monetary services.

Specifically, the class includes banking, loans, insurance underwriting, credit card transaction processing, real estate brokerage, fundraising, and jewelry appraisal.

What Services Are Included Under Trademark Class 36?

    The following is a more comprehensive list of the services found under Class 36:

    • Insurance services, actuarial services, insurance brokerage, insurance information, and insurance consultancy.
    • Insurance underwriting and appraisals and assessment for insurance purposes, accident insurance underwriting, fire insurance underwriting, health insurance underwriting, insurance underwriting, life insurance underwriting, and marine insurance underwriting.
    • Warranty services, specific real estate services, apartment house management, real estate brokerage, leasing of real estate, leasing of farms, real estate agencies, real estate management, rental of offices [real estate], and renting of flats/renting of apartments.
    • Rent collection and rent collection.
    • Pawnbrokerage and pawnbrokerage.
    • Provision of prepaid cards and tokens, issue of tokens of value, and issuing of travelers' checks [cheques].
    • Safe deposit services, deposits of valuables, and safe deposit services.
    • Financial, monetary, and banking services, banking, various brokerage services, brokerage of carbon credits, business liquidation services, financial consultancy, financial assessment, financial management, financing services, home banking, savings bank services, and trusteeship/fiduciary.
    • Currency trading and exchange services, and exchanging money.
    • Securities and commodities trading services, financial/clearing-houses, securities brokerage/stocks, bonds brokerage, stock exchange quotations, and stock brokerage services.
    • Loan and credit, and lease-finance services, credit bureau, hire-purchase financing/lease-purchase financing, installment loans, securities-based lending, loans [financing], mortgage banking, and surety services/bail-bonding/guarantees.
    • Debt recovery and factoring services, debt collection agencies, and factoring.
    • Investment services, capital investments, fund investments, mutual fund investment, and investment of funds.
    • Financial underwriting and securities issuance (investment banking), financial transfers and transactions, payment services, administration of retirement plans, and electronic funds transfer.
    • Cash, check (cheque) and money order services, Card services, credit card transaction processing, debit card payment processing, and issuance of credit cards.
    • Tax and duty payment services, financial customs brokerage, and reclamation of import duties.
    • Financial information, data, advice and consultancy services, financial analysis, check [cheque] verification, debt advisory services, financial information, financial consultancy, and repair cost evaluation [financial appraisal].
    • Financial appraisal services, financial evaluation [insurance, banking, real estate], and fiscal assessments/fiscal valuations,
    • Fundraising and sponsorship, charitable fundraising, financial sponsorship, and organization of collections.
    • Valuation services, antique appraisal, jewelry appraisal, art appraisal, financial evaluation of wool, financial evaluation of standing timber/financial valuation of standing timber, numismatic appraisal, real estate appraisal, and stamp appraisal.

    What Services Aren't Included Under Class 36?

    But you would not use Class 36 if you're applying for:

    Examples of Trademarks in Class 36

    You can find trademarks that have been applied for or registered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) under Class 36 in the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS), an electronic trademark database.

    Some well-known examples of Class 36 marks include:

    • LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE (underwriting and administration of insurance)
    • JPMORGAN CHASE (investment banking and credit card services), and
    • HABITAT FOR HUMANITY (charitable fundraising).

    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 36

    If you're not sure whether you should apply for your mark under Class 36, 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 36, the USPTO 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 Service Mark

    A specimen for a service trademark must show use of the mark in a manner that would be perceived by potential purchasers as identifying the applicant's services and indicating the service's source.

    When the mark is used in advertising the services, your specimen must show an association between the mark and the services you're applying for. A specimen that shows only the mark, with no reference to the services, doesn't show service mark usage.

    When offering a service, you don't have a product you can put a label on. Instead, your specimen will need to show how your trademark is being used to sell your service. So your specimen can show how you're using your trademark to promote your services or how your trademark is used in the performance or rendering of your service. (37 C.F.R. §2.56(b)(2)(2022).)

    Acceptable specimens for services include a variety of materials that can't be used for product marks. For a service trademark, you can submit specimens that include:

    • newspaper and magazine ads
    • brochures
    • billboards
    • direct mail pieces
    • menus (for restaurants)
    • publicly available press releases—such as on the applicant's website, and
    • letterhead stationery—for instance, invoices—and business cards showing the mark when the services are plainly reflected on them.

    If your services are rendered online, you can use a screenshot of the webpage where the trademark and reference to the services appear. Ideally, the trademark will be displayed in the webpage header, but any prominent showing of the trademark that appears near a description of the services will work. 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.

    Unacceptable Specimens for a Service Mark

    The following are unacceptable specimens for service marks:

    • news releases or articles based on news releases that are only sent to the news media
    • 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, unless the invoice identifies the mark and the services represented by the mark, and
    • letterhead or business cards that bear only the mark and a company name and address, unless the letterhead or the text of the letter identifies the services represented by the mark.

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

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