Trademarks can be an important part of any business as intellectual property. Part of that process is understanding what specific industry and “class” your trademark should be classified under, and what picking a specific class may mean for the success of your trademark.
What Is A Class 25 in Trademark?
The trademark class 25 is the class of goods with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that covers apparel and clothing. There are three specific classifications that fall within the USPTO’s Trademark Class 25:
- Foot gear
The headgear component includes caps, hats, berets, turbans, visors, and skull caps.
The clothing component includes pants, socks, shirts, underwear, belts, pajamas, ascots, sports jerseys, and even wetsuits.
The foot gear component includes shoes, sneakers, boots, cleats, and slippers.
Certain types of clothing can fall under different class categories than Class 25. This typically depends on if the clothing’s production is geared towards meeting other classification needs. This will be explored below. Generally, however, most non-specialized clothes will fall into Class 25
What Are Trademark Classes?
The USPTO has 45 different trademark classes. These classes are categories of goods and services for the trademarks issued by the USPTO. The USPTO uses these classes to distinguish and differentiate the different trademarks that are submitted to the USPTO. Drilling it down further, there are 34 classes of goods and then 11 classes of services.
When you register a trademark with the USPTO, you must choose at least one class to register your trademark under, or you can choose multiple classes. These classes can be found with the USPTO’s Trademark ID Manual.
It can be important to research the different trademark classes before you apply for a trademark. It can be difficult to try to pinpoint the exact classification your trademark should fall into. This is because the same trademark could qualify under very different trademark classifications.
Trademark Registration Under Class 25
As noted, there are 45 different classifications to register your trademark under. The registration with the USPTO under Trademark Class 25 can be especially important. This is because there are actually a lot of counterfeit items that are seized under the United States Customs and Border Protection.
Registration with the USPTO of your Class 25 trademark means that you have the ability to let the Customs Border Protection unit confiscate any infringing items that make their way across the United States border.
There are typically over 38,000 applications to the USPTO every year to receive trademarks under the Trademark Class 25 registration. This means that competition can be particularly fierce to get the trademark for a particular name.
Clothing Outside of the Class 25 Registration
Trademark Class 25 is generally a broad category within the trademark classifications and includes a wide range of products. While Trademark Class 25 generally includes clothing-related products, not all of these types of products fall within the Trademark Class 25 registration.
Here is a list of some clothing-related products that do not fall within the USPTO’s Class 25:
- Raw materials such as fabric and thread (these typically fall within Class 23 for yarns and threads or Class 24 for textiles);
- Some lace materials (this can fall within
- Doll clothing (this falls within Class 28 for manufacturing textiles);
- Safety clothing such as those worn by firefighters (this falls within Class 9 for electrical and scientific apparatuses)
- Surgical clothing such as those worn by medical professionals (this falls within Class 10 for medical supplies).
Make sure to research your specific apparel-related item to know whether Trademark Class 25 is the best classification for you.
Steps to Getting a Class 25 Trademark
Because Class 25 trademarks can be especially important for your apparel-related product given the extra customs and border protection, it’s a great idea to take some time to learn the steps for getting a trademark from the USPTO.
Conduct Trademark Searches
Before you even draft and submit your trademark application to the USPTO, the best thing to do is spend time searching through the USPTO’s trademark database to see if your name may already be trademarked.
Searching for your potential trademark can inform whether or not you should ultimately pursue the trademark application. The USPTO does not grant trademark approval if it is too similar to a trademark that has already been granted.
Moreover, you may not want to invest time and resources into a potential trademark when something identical or very similar already exists in the marketplace.
The USPTO houses the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). This TESS database consists of every trademark registration and pending application with the USPTO. There are tips issued by the USPTO that can help you as you search through the TESS database.
Try to conduct as comprehensive of searches as possible. This means you will want to test out different variations for your name to see what other similarities might be there that could impact your product.
Moreover, this is a time that it can be really important to consult with a trademark attorney on searching the TESS database. Legal services can be important at this stage because trademark attorneys are very knowledgeable about the TESS database and how to cover all potential conflicts and bases that will set your product up for success.
This is important to make sure you properly control your intellectual property.
File Your Trademark Application
Once you have conducted thorough searches through TESS, you are ready to apply for a trademark USPTO’s Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). There are two application forms to choose from:
- TEAS Plus
- TEAS Regular
These two application forms depend on whether you can choose a classification or if you feel the need to write in a description for your classification. If you are interested in applying for a Class 25 trademark, this means you can easily choose one classification and therefore can use the TEAS Plus application form.
Interact with the Assigned USPTO Attorney
Once your application has been submitted, the USPTO will take your application through its internal processes. One step in this process is getting assigned to a USPTO attorney.
This attorney may have questions and comments for you about your trademark application. This may be more or less extensive and might take time depending on the specific circumstances of your application.
Once any questions have been answered, your trademark will then be published in the USPTO’s magazine, which is called the Official Gazette. Then, as long as no one files any complaints against your trademark following this publishing, the USPTO will provide you with a final trademark certificate of registration.