In organizing its registry of trademarks, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) divides marks into 45 different "classes" of products or services. Trademark examiners know that not all trademarks necessarily compete with one another. A customer seeking to buy a scientific instrument manufactured by a company called "Investigator Specialties" would not be confused with a private investigation firm by the same name. Reasonable consumers would realize that they do not overlap or have the same source. Consequently, both trademarks can coexist without any infringement.
Class 9 includes scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signaling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting.
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.
For more information on trademark law and federal trademark registration, check out Nolo's articles on Trademark Law. For a complete listing of all goods in Class 9, see below.
Examples of Trademarks in Class 9
Consider marks like DISH (digital video recorders), ORACLE SUPERCLUSTER (computer hardware), OPENTABLE (computer software and mobile application), and BSX (portable tablets). All of these are examples of Class 9 trademarks.
You would choose Class 9 if you were registering any of these types of goods:
- apparatus and instruments for scientific research in laboratories
- apparatus and instruments for controlling ships, such as apparatus and instruments for measuring and for transmitting orders
- punched card office machines
- all computer programs and software regardless of recording media or means of dissemination, that is, software recorded on magnetic media or downloaded from a remote computer network.
You would not use Class 9 if you were registering:
- electromechanical apparatus for the kitchen (grinders and mixers for foodstuffs, fruit presses, electrical coffee mills, etc.), and certain other apparatus and instruments driven by an electrical motor, all coming under Class 7 - Machines
- apparatus for pumping or dispensing fuels (Class 7 - Machines)
- electric razors, clippers (hand instruments) and flat irons (Class 8 - Hand Tools),
- electrical apparatus for space heating or for the heating of liquids, for cooking, ventilating, etc. (Class 11 - Appliances)
- electric toothbrushes and combs (Class 21 - Household Utensils)
- clocks and watches and other chronometric instruments (Class 14 - Precious Metals)
- control clocks (Class 14 - Precious Metals)
- amusement and game apparatus adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor (Class 28 - Games and Sporting Goods)
Related or "Coordinated" Classes
If you are not sure whether you should register in Class 9, you might also consider the following “coordinated” classes: Class 10 - Medical Supplies, Class 16 - Paper Goods, Class 28 - Games and Sporting Goods, Class 35 - Advertising and Business Services, Class 38 - Telecommunications Services, Class 39 - Shipping and Travel Services, Class 41 - Education and Entertainment Services, Class 42 - Science and Technology Services, and Class 44 - Medical and Vet Services.
A coordinated class is one that is related to another class, usually because the PTO has determined that applicants filing within Class 9 often file in the coordinated classes, too.
Why use the 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 USPTO’s trademark database.
Specimens for Class 9
If the mark is 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 9 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 9 goods is an acceptable specimen. 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.
Complete Listing of All Goods in Class 9 Based on Taxonomy
- Recorded content, downloadable ring tones for mobile phones, films, exposed, X-ray films, exposed, X-ray photographs, other than for medical purposes, Databases (electronic).
- Media content, animated cartoons, cinematographic film, exposed, downloadable music files, downloadable image files, electronic publications (eBooks, eGuides), downloadable.
- Software, computer software, recorded, computer programmes [programs], recorded, computer programs [downloadable software], electronic notice boards, juke boxes for computers, monitors [computer programs], Games software, computer game software.
- Firmware, Computer operating systems, computer operating programs, recorded, Information technology and audiovisual equipment, electronic agendas, amplifiers, couplers [data processing equipment], demagnetizing apparatus for magnetic tapes, magnetic encoders.
- Communications equipment, acoustic conduits, acoustic couplers, electric apparatus for commutation, galena crystals [detectors], high-frequency apparatus, radios, satellites for scientific purposes, sound transmitting apparatus, speaking tubes, transmitters of electronic signals, transmitters [telecommunication], transmitting sets [telecommunication], transponders.
- Computer networking and data communications equipment.
- Point-to-point communications equipment, cell phone straps, facsimile machines, hands free kits for phones, intercommunication apparatus, phototelegraphy apparatus, portable telephones, radio pagers, radiotelegraphy sets, radiotelephony sets, telegraphs [apparatus], telephone apparatus, telephone receivers, telephone transmitters, teleprinters/teletypewriters, video telephones, walkie-talkies.
- Broadcasting equipment.
- Antennas and aerials as communications apparatus, aerials/antennas, masts for wireless aerials.
- Data storage devices, compact discs [audio-video], compact discs [read-only memory], disks, magnetic, encoded identification bracelets, magnetic, encoded magnetic cards, floppy disks, holograms, identity cards, magnetic, magnetic data media, magnetic tapes, optical discs, optical data media, phonograph records/sound recording discs, punched card machines for offices, sound recording strips, sound recording carriers, USB flash drives, video cassettes, video game cartridges, videotapes.
- Replicating apparatus, blueprint apparatus.
- Photocopiers, photocopiers [photographic, electrostatic, thermic].
- Image scanners, scanners [data processing equipment], Printers, plotters, printers for use with computers.
- Data processing equipment and accessories (electrical and mechanical), bar code readers, data processing apparatus, electronic pocket translators, interfaces for computers, invoicing machines, mathematical instruments, optical character readers, readers [data processing equipment], voting machines.
- Calculators, abacuses, adding machines, calculating machines, calculating disks, pocket calculators.
- Ticket dispensers, ticket dispensers.
- Payment terminals, money dispensing and sorting devices, automated teller machines [ATM], cash registers.
- Coin-operated mechanisms, mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus, coin-operated mechanisms for television sets.
- Peripherals adapted for use with computers, computer keyboards, computer peripheral devices, electronic pens [visual display units], magnetic tape units for computers, monitors [computer hardware], mouse [data processing equipment], mouse pads, wrist rests for use with computers.
- Computers and computer hardware, bags adapted for laptops, computers, laptop computers, notebook computers, sleeves for laptops.
- Computer components and parts, computer memory devices, disk drives for computers, microprocessors, modems, processors [central processing units]/central processing units [processors].
- Audio/visual and photographic devices, audiovisual teaching apparatus, compact disc players, DVD players, head cleaning tapes [recording], light-emitting electronic pointers, portable media players, audio- and video-receivers, tape recorders.
- Audio devices and radio receivers, answering machines, cabinets for loudspeakers, cassette players, cleaning apparatus for phonograph records/cleaning apparatus for sound recording discs, diaphragms [acoustics], dictating machines, headphones, horns for loudspeakers, juke boxes, musical/coin-operated musical automata [juke boxes], loudspeakers, megaphones, microphones, needles for record players/styli for record players, personal stereos, record players, apparatus for changing record player needles, sound recording apparatus, sound reproduction apparatus, sounding apparatus and machines, tone arms for record players, vehicle radios.
- Display devices, television receivers and film and video devices, camcorders, cinematographic cameras, digital photo frames, editing appliances for cinematographic films/apparatus for editing cinematographic film, film cutting apparatus, fluorescent screens, magic lanterns, neon signs, projection screens, projection apparatus, teleprompters, television apparatus, totalizators, video recorders, video screens.
- Image capturing and developing devices, cameras [photography], carriers for dark plates [photography], cases especially made for photographic apparatus and instruments, centering apparatus for photographic transparencies, darkroom lamps [photography], darkrooms [photography], diaphragms [photography], drainers for use in photography/photographic racks, drying racks [photography], drying apparatus for photographic prints, enlarging apparatus [photography], epidiascopes, filters [photography], filters for ultraviolet rays, for photography, flash-bulbs [photography], flashlights [photography], frames for photographic transparencies, glazing apparatus for photographic prints, heliographic apparatus, lens hoods, lenses for astrophotography, radiological apparatus for industrial purposes, radiology screens for industrial purposes, screens [photography], screens for photoengraving, shutter releases [photography], shutters [photography], slide projectors/transparency projection apparatus, speed measuring apparatus [photography], spools [photography], stands for photographic apparatus, transparencies [photography]/slides [photography], tripods for cameras, viewfinders, photographic, washing trays [photography].
- X-ray apparatus not for medical purposes, apparatus and installations for the production of X-rays, not for medical purposes.
- Signal cables for IT, AV and telecommunication, coaxial cables, fibre [fiber (Am.)] optic cables, optical fibers [fibres] [light conducting filaments]/light conducting filaments [optical fibers [fibres]], telegraph wires, telephone wires, Magnets, magnetizers and demagnetizers, electromagnetic coils, magnets, decorative magnets, Devices for treatment using electricity, cathodic anti-corrosion apparatus, electrolysers, ionization apparatus not for the treatment of air or water, ozonisers [ozonators].
- Apparatus, instruments and cables for electricity, cell switches [electricity]/reducers [electricity], Apparatus and instruments for accumulating and storing electricity, accumulators, electric, anode batteries/high tension batteries, batteries, electric, for vehicles/accumulators, electric, for vehicles, batteries for lighting, batteries, electric, battery jars/accumulator jars, battery boxes/accumulator boxes, battery chargers, chargers for electric batteries, galvanic cells, galvanic batteries, grids for batteries, plates for batteries, solar batteries.
- Apparatus and instruments for controlling electricity, anti-interference devices [electricity], branch boxes [electricity], circuit breakers, commutators, comparators, control panels [electricity], converters, electric, current rectifiers, inverters [electricity], lightning conductors [rods]/lightning conductors/lightning arresters, limiters [electricity], relays, electric, stage lighting regulators, step-up transformers, switchboxes [electricity], time switches, automatic, transformers [electricity], voltage surge protectors, voltage regulators for vehicles.
- Photovoltaics, photovoltaic cells.
- Electric and electronic components, amplifying tubes/amplifying valves, anodes, anticathodes, armatures [electricity], cathodes, choking coils [impedance], circuit closers, coils, electric, collectors, electric, condensers [capacitors]/capacitors, conductors, electric, connections for electric lines, connectors [electricity], contacts, electric, couplings, electric/connections, electric, covers for electric outlets, discharge tubes, electric, other than for lighting/electric discharge tubes, other than for lighting, distribution boards [electricity], distribution boxes [electricity], distribution consoles [electricity], ducts [electricity], electricity conduits, fuses, glass covered with an electrical conductor, holders for electric coils, inductors [electricity], junction boxes [electricity], light dimmers [regulators], electric/light regulators [dimmers], electric, light-emitting diodes [LED], lighting ballasts, push buttons for bells, resistances, electric, rheostats, semi-conductors, sockets, plugs and other contacts [electric connections]/plugs, sockets and other contacts [electric connections], solenoid valves [electromagnetic switches], switchboards, switches, electric, telerupters, terminals [electricity], thermionic valves/thermionic tubes, transistors [electronic], triodes, vacuum tubes [radio], X-ray tubes not for medical purposes.
- Cables and wires, cables, electric, copper wire, insulated, materials for electricity mains [wires, cables], electrified rails for mounting spot lights, fuse wire/wires of metal alloys [fuse wire], identification threads for electric wires, identification sheaths for electric wires, junction sleeves for electric cables, magnetic wires, sheaths for electric cables, starter cables for motors, wire connectors [electricity], wires, electric.
- Electrical circuits and circuit boards, chips [integrated circuits], integrated circuit cards [smart cards]/smart cards [integrated circuit cards], integrated circuits, printed circuits, printed circuit boards, wafers for integrated circuits, Antennas and aerials as components, Optical devices, enhancers and correctors, instruments containing eyepieces, micrometer screws for optical instruments, mirrors for inspecting work, mirrors [optics], objectives [lenses] [optics], optical lenses, optical glass, optical lanterns/optical lamps, optical goods, optical apparatus and instruments, optical condensers, prisms [optics], stereoscopes, Optical enhancers, binoculars, eyepieces, magnifying glasses [optics], observation instruments, peepholes [magnifying lenses] for doors, periscopes, refractors, sighting telescopes for firearms, stereoscopic apparatus, thread counters/waling glasses.
- Corrective eyewear, contact lenses, containers for contact lenses, eyeglass chains/pince-nez chains, eyeglass cases/pince-nez cases, eyeglass cords/pince-nez cords, pince-nez/eyeglasses, pince-nez mountings/eyeglass frames, spectacle cases, spectacle frames, spectacles [optics], Sunglasses, sunglasses, Lasers, lasers, not for medical purposes.
- Opticians' goods, correcting lenses [optics], spectacle lenses.
- Safety, security, protection and signalling devices, fire extinguishers/fire extinguishing apparatus, fire engines, fire beaters, fire hose nozzles, fire hose, fire pumps, oxygen transvasing apparatus, shoes for protection against accidents, irradiation and fire, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems for fire protection, traffic cones.
- Alarms and warning equipment, acoustic [sound] alarms/sound alarms, alarm bells, electric, alarms, anti-theft warning apparatus, fire alarms, theft prevention installations, electric.
- Access control devices, electrified fences, locks, electric.
- Signalling apparatus, beacons, luminous, bells [warning devices], buzzers, dog whistles, electric door bells, flashing lights [luminous signals]/blinkers [signalling lights], fog signals, non-explosive, marking buoys, mechanical signs, naval signalling apparatus, road signs, luminous or mechanical, signal bells, signal lanterns, signalling panels, luminous or mechanical, signalling whistles, signalling buoys, signals, luminous or mechanical, signs, luminous, sirens, traffic-light apparatus [signalling devices], vehicle breakdown warning triangles, whistle alarms.
- Protective and safety equipment, anti-dazzle shades/anti-glare visors, asbestos gloves for protection against accidents, asbestos clothing for protection against fire, asbestos screens for firemen, breathing apparatus, except for artificial respiration, bullet-proof waistcoats [vests (Am.)]/bullet-proof vests (Am.)/bullet-proof waistcoats, clothing for protection against accidents, irradiation and fire, clothing for protection against fire, filters for respiratory masks, fire escapes, fire boats, fire blankets, garments for protection against fire, gloves for protection against accidents, gloves for protection against X-rays for industrial purposes, knee-pads for workers, life jackets, life belts, life buoys, life saving apparatus and equipment, life-saving rafts, nets for protection against accidents, nose clips for divers and swimmers, protection devices for personal use against accidents, protection devices against X-rays, not for medical purposes, protective masks, protective suits for aviators, railway traffic safety appliances, reflecting discs for wear, for the prevention of traffic accidents, respirators for filtering air, respiratory masks, other than for artificial respiration/respirators, other than for artificial respiration, safety nets/life nets, safety tarpaulins, safety restraints, other than for vehicle seats and sports equipment, socks, electrically heated, solderers' helmets, spark-guards, teeth protectors, workmen's protective face-shields, Head protection, protective helmets, protective helmets for sports, riding helmets.
- Eye protection, anti-glare glasses, goggles for sports.
- Diving equipment, breathing apparatus for underwater swimming, divers' masks, diving suits, ear plugs for divers, gloves for divers.
- Navigation, guidance, tracking, targeting and map making devices, directional compasses, compasses [measuring instruments], cosmographic instruments, electronic tags for goods, Global Positioning System [GPS] apparatus, marine compasses, nautical apparatus and instruments, navigation apparatus for vehicles [on-board computers], navigational instruments, satellite navigational apparatus, sextants, steering apparatus, automatic, for vehicles.
- Measuring, detecting and monitoring instruments, indicators and controllers, air analysis apparatus, mechanisms for counter-operated apparatus, diagnostic apparatus, not for medical purposes, dosage dispensers/dosimeters, food analysis apparatus, pressure indicator plugs for valves, stroboscopes, temperature indicator labels, not for medical purposes, wind socks for indicating wind direction.
- Monitoring instruments, monitoring apparatus, electric.
- Sensors and detectors, counterfeit [false] coin detectors/false coin detectors, detectors, electric loss indicators, apparatus to check franking/apparatus to check stamping mail, metal detectors for industrial or military purposes, automatic indicators of low pressure in vehicle tires [tyres]/automatic indicators of low pressure in vehicle tires/automatic indicators of low pressure in vehicle tyres, radar apparatus, rods for water diviners, sonars, sound locating instruments.
- Testing and quality control devices, crash test dummies, gas testing instruments, material testing instruments and machines, testing apparatus not for medical purposes.
- Measuring, counting, alignment and calibrating instruments, acid hydrometers, acidimeters for batteries, actinometers, aerometers, alcoholmeters, alidades, altimeters, anemometers, apertometers [optics], azimuth instruments, balancing apparatus, barometers, calibrating rings, counters/meters, densimeters, densitometers, dynamometers, egg-candlers, ergometers, exposure meters [light meters], frequency meters, gasoline gauges/petrol gauges, gasometers [measuring instruments], gauges, hemline markers, hydrometers, hygrometers, lactodensimeters, lactometers, levelling staffs [surveying instruments]/rods [surveying instruments], levelling instruments, levels [instruments for determining the horizontal], logs [measuring instruments], marine depth finders, marking gauges [joinery], measures, measuring apparatus, measuring instruments, measuring devices, electric, measuring glassware/graduated glassware, measuring spoons, mercury levels, metronomes, money counting and sorting machines, octants, photometers, plane tables [surveying instruments], planimeters, plumb lines, plumb bobs, polarimeters, precision measuring apparatus, pressure measuring apparatus, pressure gauges/manometers, pressure indicators, protractors [measuring instruments], quantity indicators, refractometers, revolution counters, saccharometers, salinometers, scales, screw-tapping gauges, slope indicators/clinometers/gradient indicators/inclinometers, spectroscopes, spirit levels, sulphitometers, surveying instruments, surveying apparatus and instruments, surveying chains, surveyors' levels, taximeters, theodolites, vacuum gauges, variometers, viscosimeters, water level indicators, wavemeters, weights.
- Data loggers and recorders, milage recorders for vehicles/kilometer recorders for vehicles.
- Time measuring instruments (not including clocks and watches), chronographs [time recording apparatus], egg timers [sandglasses]/hourglasses, parking meters, time recording apparatus, time clocks [time recording devices], Weight measuring instruments, balances [steelyards]/lever scales [steelyards]/steelyards [lever scales], letter scales, precision balances, weighbridges, weighing machines, weighing apparatus and instruments.
- Distance and dimension measuring instruments, calipers, carpenters' rules, distance measuring apparatus, distance recording apparatus/apparatus for recording distance, dressmakers' measures, jigs [measuring instruments], appliances for measuring the thickness of leather, micrometers/micrometer gauges, pedometers, range finders/telemeters, rulers [measuring instruments], rules [measuring instruments], apparatus for measuring the thickness of skins, slide calipers, slide-rules, sounding lines, sounding leads, spherometers, verniers.
- Speed measuring instruments, speed checking apparatus for vehicles, speed indicators, tachometers.
- Temperature measuring instruments, pyrometers, temperature indicators, thermometers, not for medical purposes, Electricity measuring instruments, ammeters, galvanometers, ohmmeters, oscillographs, voltmeters.
- Controllers (regulators), boiler control instruments, decompression chambers, electric installations for the remote control of industrial operations, electro-dynamic apparatus for the remote control of railway points, electro-dynamic apparatus for the remote control of signals, heat regulating apparatus, igniting apparatus, electric, for igniting at a distance/electric apparatus for remote ignition, regulating apparatus, electric, remote control apparatus, speed regulators for record players, thermostats, thermostats for vehicles.
- Scientific research and laboratory apparatus, educational apparatus and simulators, apparatus and instruments for astronomy, betatrons, capillary tubes, cases fitted with dissecting instruments [microscopy], chemistry apparatus and instruments, chromatography apparatus for laboratory use, clothing especially made for laboratories, containers for microscope slides, crucibles [laboratory]/cupels [laboratory], cyclotrons, diaphragms for scientific apparatus, diffraction apparatus [microscopy], distillation apparatus for scientific purposes, DNA chips, apparatus for fermentation [laboratory apparatus], furnaces for laboratory use/ovens for laboratory use, furniture especially made for laboratories, incubators for bacteria culture, laboratory trays, laboratory centrifuges, meteorological balloons, meteorological instruments, microscopes, microtomes, particle accelerators, Petri dishes, apparatus and instruments for physics, pipettes, Pitot tubes, probes for scientific purposes, resuscitation mannequins [teaching apparatus], retorts, retorts' stands, simulators for the steering and control of vehicles, spectrograph apparatus, stills for laboratory experiments, teaching apparatus, telescopes, test tubes, and urinometers.