Applying for a trademark for your business is a good idea. A trademark will protect your logo or symbol and keep other companies from using it. If you apply for a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), they will ask you to file under one or more of the 45 different trademark classes. Each class represents a different product or service. Here we will discuss trademark class 11.
Why Are There Different Classes?
The USPTO has different trademark classes to categorize products and services, but that’s not the only reason. The different classes allow for two companies with the same name to apply for a trademark, as long as they file under different classes.
For example, the name “Vanguard” can refer to both a financial services company and a company that makes gas logs for fireplaces. The USPTO can approve both trademarks because the companies are filing under different classes and make products for two different kinds of consumers.
The key here is consumer confusion. So long as two companies using the same trademark operate in different industries, there should be no consumer confusion. The international classification system is just one method of avoiding consumer confusion.
The Class 11 Trademark
Trademark class 11 has to do with appliances. These can be appliances for cooking and cleaning, heating and cooling, and ventilation. Class 11 includes both large appliances and small hand-held appliances. Basically, class 11 includes any industrial or home appliance used to clean, cook, or move air.
Food heating, cooling, and preparation
This includes all the appliances that are in your kitchen. Ovens, refrigerators, and microwaves are all in class 11. This class also includes appliances you find in industrial kitchens, such as deep fryers, hot plates, roasting spits and rotisseries, large freezers and ice machines, and wine and beverage coolers.
Small appliances like coffee makers, bread makers, pressure cookers and all hand-held electric kitchen appliances are in this category as well.
Items for personal heating and drying
Hair dryers, hand dryers, and electric fans are all in this class. Hot water bottles, heating pads and electric blankets are also in this category if they are not exclusively for medical use. Even pocket warmers are in class 11 since they are a tool for personal heating.
This falls into the “moving air” category. Home exhaust would include chimney flues and chimney blowers.
Filters in the home
Coffee filters, water filters, and air conditioning filters are all in this class. This category also includes equipment for treating the air in your home, such as ionizers, air purifying and air deodorizing machines.
Speaking of air – all heating, ventilation, and air conditioning machines are in class 11. This includes all parts of HVAC systems, not just in houses, but also in motor vehicles.
Boilers and Heaters
The Class 11 trademark category also covers burners and boilers that are in industrial ovens or incinerators. These could be used in any type of industry, such as a chemical plant or laboratory, as well as in industrial kitchens. This class also covers the parts of the burner or boiler, such as heating elements, thermostats, and valves. Sun tanning beds are in this category too.
Lighting and reflectors
Any type of lighting – ceiling lights, appliance lights, Christmas lights, aquarium lights, LED lights – is in this category. Class 11 also covers the filaments and materials that make the up the bulbs. All globes and shades that cover the lights are also part of this category. In addition, portable lights like flashlights and the actual light sockets are included in class 11.
All vehicle lights and reflectors are in this class as well. This would include motor vehicles and bicycle lights and reflectors.
Water purifying and heating appliances
Any appliance to purify water is in the class 11 trademark category. This includes water filters and purifiers for an entire house, or portable purifiers for a single water bottle. Water filtration devices for swimming pools and aquariums are also covered under this category.
Water heaters, water coolers, and any water distribution installations are in class 11. Your home water heater and the neighborhood fire hydrant are both in this category.
Now that we’ve covered the appliances in the kitchen, let’s talk about the bathroom. All the sinks and sink fixtures that you would find in your home bathroom are in the class 11 trademark.
The toilet, bathtub, and all related fixtures are covered here too. The fixtures that you would find in a public bathroom or spa are included in this category as well: urinals, saunas, whirlpool spas, steam rooms, and decorative fountains. Finally, all the pipes that connect these appliances to the water supply are included in class 11 too.
Gas scrubbers/water and gas safety valves
This falls into the “purifying appliance” category. Gas scrubbers keep the gas flowstream free from dirt, water, or other foreign matter. Gas scrubbers are used for emission control and fall under the class 11 trademark category.
All regulating and safety accessories and valves for water, gas, or oil are included in this category. This would include air valves and level controlling valves.
Finally, all appliances that are powered by nuclear energy of any kind are in this category. This includes all heating and cooling appliances, their ventilation, and the actual nuclear reactors and processors.
Related Products That Do Not Fall Under Class 11
If you’re not sure if your product falls under class 11, consider these classes that are closely related:
Class 7 – Machines: All appliances that are meant to make steam, but not heat.
Class 9 – Computers and scientific devices – Heated jackets, pants or other clothing. For example, a heated leather suit used for riding a motorcycle in cold weather.
The Class 11 trademark category includes all kinds of appliances, whether they are used in the household or in industry. This includes appliances for heating and cooling, purifying, and ventilation.
Be sure your are familiar with these trademark classes so that you can file your trademark application under the correct class. If not, the USPTO will reject your application. Your product or service could include more than one class. If so, you may file under multiple classes, but you will have to pay the filing fee for each class.
It’s highly recommended that you contact an experienced trademark attorney to help you understand the trademark classes and choose the appropriate class. A lawyer can also make sure you are not infringing on another company’s trademark before you go through the application process.