The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which is the federal agency that oversees 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 into categories most related to their core business. The USPTO knows that not all trademarks necessarily compete with one another, even if they are identical. Imagine, for example, an SAT-tutoring business called "Prepared" and a home security company with the same name. Reasonable consumers would not be confused by the same name, nor would they assume that both products come from the same source. In other words, both "Prepared" companies can exist with their own trademarks, because they target different markets.
Class 41 includes services for education, tutoring, training, entertainment, and various sporting and cultural activities. Class 41 covers mainly services rendered by persons or institutions to educate persons or train animals, as well as services intended to entertain. This class includes, in particular:
- services consisting of all forms of education of persons or training of animals
- services having the basic aim of the entertainment, amusement, or recreation of people
- presentation of works of visual art or literature to the public for cultural or educational purposes, and
- chemical products used in industry, science, and agriculture, including those that go to the making of products belonging to other classes.
For a complete listing of all goods in Class 41, see below. For more information about trademarks and federal registration, see Nolo's articles on Trademark Law.
Examples of Trademarks in Class 41
Consider names such as AKRON RACERS (conducting athletic competitions), CEO PERSPECTIVES (executive workshops), or MERCK ACADEMY (educational services), all of which are good examples of Class 41 marks.
Related or Coordinated Classes
If you are not sure whether to register in Class 41, you might also consider the following "coordinated" classes: Business Services, 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 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 41 often file in these other classes, too.
The fees that you will pay also relate to the 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), 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 intent-to-use basis). You might also need information about the class number in order to narrow a search of the PTO's trademark database.
Supplying Specimens for Class 41
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 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.
Internet. In cases of services rendered over the Internet, a screen shot of the full Web page should be acceptable. If the mark is being prominently displayed on the home page, so much the better.
The following are unacceptable specimens for marks for Class 41 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
- letterhead or business cards that bear only the mark and a company name and address; unless the letterhead or text of the letter identifies the services represented by the mark.
It is also possible to have audio trademarks. While most marks appear in writing somewhere, you may also submit sound files. 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 41 Based on Taxonomy
- Publishing and reporting, calligraphy services, electronic desktop publishing, layout services, other than for advertising purposes, news reporters services, providing on-line electronic publications, not downloadable, publication of texts, other than publicity texts, publication of books, publication of electronic books and journals on-line, writing of texts, other than publicity texts.
- Education, entertainment and sports, amusement parks, arranging of beauty contests, arranging and conducting of concerts, booking of seats for shows, cinema presentations/movie theatre presentations, circuses, club services [entertainment or education], disc jockey services, discotheque services, entertainer services, entertainment/amusements, entertainment information, game services provided on-line from a computer network, games equipment rental, holiday camp services [entertainment], presentation of live performances, modelling for artists, movie studios, music composition services, music-halls, night clubs, orchestra services, organization of shows [impresario services], organization of balls, party planning [entertainment], photographic reporting, photography, production of shows, production of radio and television programmes, providing amusement arcade services, providing karaoke services, radio entertainment, providing recreation facilities, recreation information, rental of movie projectors and accessories, rental of stage scenery, rental of show scenery, rental of cine-films/rental of motion pictures, rental of sound recordings, rental of videotapes, rental of video cassette recorders, rental of radio and television sets, rental of audio equipment, rental of lighting apparatus for theatrical sets or television studios, rental of video cameras/rental of camcorders, scriptwriting services, services of schools [education], subtitling, television entertainment, theatre productions, ticket agency services [entertainment], toy rental, zoological garden services.
- Conferences, exhibitions and competitions, arranging and conducting of congresses, arranging and conducting of conferences, arranging and conducting of seminars, arranging and conducting of symposiums, organization of fashion shows for entertainment purposes, providing museum facilities [presentation, exhibitions], organization of competitions [education or entertainment], organization of exhibitions for cultural or educational purposes.
- Gambling, providing casino facilities [gambling], gambling, operating lotteries.
- Audio and video production, and photography, dubbing, film production, other than advertising films, microfilming, production of music, recording studio services, videotape film production, videotape editing, videotaping.
- Sports and fitness, coaching [training], conducting fitness classes, providing golf facilities, health club services [health and fitness training], organization of sports competitions, personal trainer services [fitness training], providing sports facilities, rental of skin diving equipment, rental of sports equipment, except vehicles, rental of stadium facilities, rental of tennis courts, rental of sports grounds, sport camp services, timing of sports events.
- Library services, lending libraries, mobile library services/bookmobile services.
- Education and instruction, academies [education], animal training, arranging and conducting of colloquiums, arranging and conducting of workshops [training], boarding schools, correspondence courses, education information, educational examination, gymnastic instruction, nursery schools, physical education, practical training [demonstration], religious education, teaching/educational services/instruction services/tuition, vocational guidance [education or training advice], vocational retraining.
- Translation and interpretation, language interpreter services, sign language interpretation, translation.