Trademark Class 44: Medical and Veterinary Services

When to apply for a mark under Trademark Class 44.

By , Attorney | Updated By Brian Farkas, Attorney

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the federal agency charged with the management of trademark registration, divides marks into 45 different "classes" of products or services. Classes are basically categories, separated by the type of good or service being offered. Even if two companies use the same trademark, they might not infringe on one another if the marks actually relate to different goods or services. For example, an allergy medication called "Clear as Day" would not infringe on a window cleaning fluid made by a different company but using the same name.

Class 44, a very broad category, includes medical care, hygienic products, and beauty care products for both humans and animals. It also includes certain services relating to the fields of agriculture, horticulture, and forestry.

For more information on trademark law and federal trademark registration generally, check out Nolo's articles on Trademark Law. For a complete listing of all goods in Class 44, see below.

The 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), 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 may also need information about the class number in order to narrow a search of the PTO's trademark database.

Examples of Trademarks in Class 44

Consider RED MOUNTAIN ACUPUNCTURE (acupuncture services), 02 WELLNESS (alternative medical), and GOT TREES (tree maintenance). All of these are good examples of Class 44 marks.

You would choose Class 44 if you were registering any of these types of goods:

  • medical analysis services relating to the treatment of persons (such as x-ray examinations and taking of blood samples)
  • artificial insemination services
  • pharmacy advice
  • animal breeding
  • services relating to the growing of plants such as gardening, or
  • services relating to floral art, such as floral compositions as well as garden design.

You would not use Class 44 if you were registering:

Related or "Coordinated" Classes

If you are not sure whether you should register in Class 44, you might also consider the following "coordinated" classes: Class 35 - Advertising and Business Services, Class 36 - Insurance and Financial 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 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 44 often file in the coordinated classes, too.

Providing Specimens for Class 44

A specimen for service must show use of the mark in a manner that would be perceived by potential purchasers of the Class 44 product 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 44 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 bearing only the mark and a company name and address (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.

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 44 Based on Taxonomy

  • Agriculture, aquaculture, horticulture and forestry services, aerial and surface spreading of fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals, aquaculture services, farming equipment rental, tree planting for carbon offsetting purposes, tree surgery, vermin exterminating for agriculture, horticulture and forestry.
  • Farming (animals), animal breeding.
  • Farming (crops), Horticulture, gardening and landscaping, flower arranging, gardening, horticulture, landscape gardening, lawn care, plant nurseries, weed killing.
  • Landscape design, landscape design, Floral design, wreath making.
  • Animal healthcare services, veterinary assistance.
  • Animal grooming services, animal grooming, pet grooming.
  • Human healthcare services, aromatherapy services, chiropractics, convalescent homes/rest homes, health counseling/health counseling, health centres/health centers, health spa services, health care, hospices, massage, midwife services, nursing homes, physiotherapy/physical therapy, rehabilitation for substance abuse patients, sanatoriums, speech therapy services, therapy services.
  • Medical services, alternative medicine services, artificial insemination services, blood bank services, hair implantation, hospitals, in vitro fertilization services, medical equipment rental, medical assistance, medical clinic services, nursing, medical, plastic surgery, telemedicine services.
  • Dentistry, dentistry.
  • Pharmaceutical services, pharmacists' services to make up prescriptions, pharmacy advice.
  • Opticians' services, opticians' services.
  • Mental health services, services of a psychologist.
  • Human hygiene and beauty care, beauty salons, hairdressing salons, manicuring, public baths for hygiene purposes, rental of sanitation facilities, sauna services, solarium services.
  • Turkish baths, visagists' services.
  • Body art, Tattooing.

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