This article covers trademark class 15 protections. Trademark class 15 protects musical instruments and their components.
A part of the trademark registration process for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is figuring out what international trade mark class best fits your good or service. There are 45 classes in total, 34 goods categories and 11 service categories.
What Is a Trademark?
A popular buzzword when it comes to marketing yourself or your business is “brand.” People spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to brand themselves or a good or service they want to provide. Your brand is what will set you apart from your competition and help consumers recognize your product.
A trademark is an image, logo, design, slogan, etc. that establishes your brand and you as the origin source of the good or service your company provides. When you register a trademark, you gain legal rights to protect your trademark and your business’ reputation from other parties.
How to Register a Trademark
Once you figure out your brand, you should consider registering your trademark. If you decide registering with the USPTO is the right step for you, you might be wondering how to begin the process. You can register online using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
We always recommend hiring a lawyer to help you register your trademark.
There are 3 main types of applications: the TEAS Plus form, the TEAS Reduced Fee form, and the TEAS Regular form. There are different reasons for using each of these forms relating to costs and the type of business you own. If you are having trouble figuring out which application is right for you, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney to help you.
Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)
Before you register a mark you should conduct a trademark search using the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). Even in just your industry, there are a ton of different businesses. To make sure you aren’t infringing on their rights by creating a mark that is so similar it is likely to cause confusion in the marketplace, do your research.
Even if a trademark is marked dead, abandoned, or inactive, does not mean it has no protections. Abandoned trademarks often continue to enjoy common law trademark rights.
When you hire an attorney, they can help you make sure your mark will not result in infringement accusations from another business in your industry.
Benefits of Registering a Trademark
Now that you know what a trademark is and how to find similar marks to yours, you might be wondering what the actual benefit of registering are. When you register a trademark with the USPTO, you gain legal protections from other parties outside of your original location and in e-commerce. If another company infringes on your rights you can bring legal action against them in court.
International Trademark Classes
When you register your trademark, the application will ask you what international trademark class fits your good or service. Sometimes more than one classification will work for your business. If that is the case, consider registering under all the relevant classes.
Registering a Class 15 Trademark
Trademarks offer protection from confusion happening within the same class. So, if you register a class 15 trademark, you will be able to take action against parties violating your rights in this class. Likewise, when you are figuring out your trademark, you will want to specifically research other class 15 trademarks to make sure you don’t infringe on anyone’s rights.
What is a Class 15 Trademark?
Class 15 focuses on musical instruments and their components. This category is pretty narrow compared to some of the other classes, so be sure that your product fits in before you register.
Musical Instruments and Components
This class broadly encompasses musical instruments. Though the category itself narrowly includes instruments and their components, there are many different types of musical instruments.
Some of the components this class includes are: bellows, bow nuts, bows, bridges, catgut, chin rests, colophony, rosin, drum heads and skins, drumsticks, strings for different instruments, horsehair for bows, drum frames, keys for keyboard instruments, intensity regulators for mechanical pianos, mouthpieces, pedals, reeds, and valves all for musical instruments.
Some examples of stringed instruments in this class include: guitars, violins, violas, cellos, basses, mandolins, lyres, banjos, harps, and balalaikas. Other stringed instruments also fall under trademark class 15.
Some woodwind instruments included in this class are clarinets, oboes, saxophones, bagpipes, different kinds of flutes, and more.
Brass instruments like trumpets, trombones and different types of horns also fall under class 15.
Many percussion instruments are in this class. Some examples include: drums, gongs, the triangle, hand bells, kettledrums, tambourines, and tom-toms.
Instruments with keyboard like pianos, organs, and accordions are a part of class 15.
There are a lot of other classes which include electric components and items. But any electric versions of these instruments and other electric musical instruments are in the trademark class 15 category.
Some other goods found in class 15 are cases for musical instruments, music boxes, conductor’s batons, music stands, and musical instrument stands. Basically, if it is used in music there is a good chance it will fit in this class.
There are some classes that relate to trademark class 15. Class 9 deals with audio recording and transmission. Class 41 is music production, recording, and composition. If your company provides musical services, it will not be in class 15.
What Is Not in Class 15?
The World Intellectual Property Organization notes specifically that equipment for the recording, transmission, amplification and reproduction of sound is not in class 15 (Cl. 9).
International trademark class 15 covers musical instruments and their components. Registering for a trademark is a tricky process, so if you have questions about conducting research or the application process, an attorney can help you.