If you own a business, it’s probably in your best interest to register a trademark. To do so, you’ll need to submit an application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
When you file your application, the USPTO will ask you which class your mark falls under. For this reason, having a basic understanding of the different types of classes is key when filling out your application.
In this article, we’ll talk about trademark class 43, which covers restaurant and hotel services. We’ll also discuss the alternative goods classes restaurant and hotel owners might consider filing under.
What is a Trademark?
By applying for a trademark, you are claiming the exclusive right to use that mark when marketing your goods or services. If someone infringes on your intellectual property, a registered trademark is much easier to defend in court. This is especially true for imported goods. Names, logos, slogans, and other branding can all be trademarked in this way.
However, you can only take action against marks that infringe on your claim in a certain class.
For example, let’s say you register the trade name “easy-hut” for your hotel business. This means you’re registered in class 43, and gain protections in that class. However, if, for some reason, someone started an advertising business with the same name, they have the right to use the name when selling their advertising services.
This is because they have protections under a different class, and consumers are less likely to mix the two businesses up since they do drastically different things. If your business’s goods or services fall into multiple trademark classes, you can also choose to register your trademark in more than one class.
Remember, however, that you need to use the mark in commerce. You can’t simply register your brand in all 45 classes and expect to receive protections.
The USPTO examines these applications closely. If you applied for trademark classes that aren’t applicable to your business, they will simply reject your application. Nevertheless, many successful businesses file under multiple trademark classes. Consider whether doing so is the right move for your business.
What Services does Class 43 Include?
Class 43 includes all names and marks related to accommodation and food services. Although that sounds simple, 43 is a very expansive trademark class that includes many services you might not expect. While the major players are restaurants and hotels, a few other services are also included. We’ll list some of the most notable below.
In addition to hotel services, class 43 covers businesses such as retirement homes, campground facilities, and event facilities. It also includes boarding services for animals, provided that they do not include veterinary services.
Another interesting inclusion is catering services. Soup kitchens, wedding caterers, and really any business that provides food, with or without cost, falls under this category.
Lastly, many rental services also fall under class 43. Furniture and equipment rentals, for example, generally count as class 43 services.
While renting houses and apartments are typically class 36 services, temporary homes are also grouped in class 43.
It’s also important to note which services do not fall into class 43.
The following trademark classes are related to trademark class 43, and are sometimes even coordinated with it. This means that many trademark applications pair class 43 with one from below. If your intellectual property falls into one or more of the categories below, strongly consider filing under both classes.
- Class 36—Insurance and Finance Services. This category includes real estate-related services, such as apartment and home rentals.
- Class 39—Shipping and Travel Services. If your travel service includes a hotel or food service component, you’ll need to file under both.
- Class 40—Material Treatment Services. This applies to services related to food treatment and preparation, which are common in delis, bakeries and certain other restaurants. Note that you only need to file under Class 40 if you offer food treatment or preparation services outside of the immediate restaurant context.
- Class 41—Education and Entertainment Services. Many hotel and venue rental services include an entertainment component that will need to be trademarked separately. Also, note that boarding schools fall into both classes.
- Class 44—Medical and Vet Services. Almost all rest, convalescent, and retirement homes fall into both classes. The same is true of animal boarding services.
Finally, note that trademark class 43 is a service class. This means that any trademarks related to goods your company produces will need to be trademarked separately.
For example, a steakhouse that also sells things in nearby grocery stores would need to file under both class 43 and class 29.
Common Problems in Trademark Applications
Dealing with Similar Trademarks
Before you apply, make sure you search the USPTO’s database for similar trademarks. If you see one that seems identical or similar to your own trademark, you’ll need to either change your intellectual property or file under a different class. For this reason, it’s usually smart to order a trademark search report before filling out your application.
Abandoning your Trademark
The most common area people trip up is actually in the steps after you’ve finished filing.
Essentially, trademark registration only gives you an exclusive claim on the use of your trademark for a limited time. You’ll need to renew your trademark periodically with the USPTO.
In addition, you should make an effort of policing your mark. The USPTO will not file a trademark dispute on your behalf, so if a mark is infringing on your own, you’ll have to go after it yourself.
When it comes to applying for a class 43 trademark, it’s important to have the right legal help. A good trademark lawyer can help you file your trademark correctly and avoid issues arising from similar intellectual properties. They can also help you maintain your trademark after you’re finished filing, ensuring legal protection for your brand in the future.