As you grow your business you need to protect yourself and your reputation. Registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a great way to gain some legal protections for your brand.
When you register, you will need to figure out which international trademark class fits your good or service. There are 45 classes in all.
This article will cover Trademark Class 20, which protects all forms of furniture and furniture related goods.
What Is a Trademark?
A trademark is exactly what it sounds like. It is your trade-mark, the marking or branding you use to set your business apart from the competition.
You can trademark most types of distinguishing branding, such as signs, logos, names, images, phrases, etc. However, you should be able to prove that the particular mark isn’t already in use in a market similar to your own.
This is where trademark classes come in to play. By registering your mark under a particular trademark class, you’re claiming that you are the only person using that mark in that particular sphere.
What Is a Class 20 Trademark?
When you file your application with the USPTO, remember that you are looking for legal protection from trademark infringement within the same class.
Trademark Class 20 covers furniture and related materials. The list of included items is quite extensive, so we’ll only list a few of the most common examples below.
First and foremost Trademark Class 20 covers many different kinds of furniture.
For example, armchairs, wooden bedsteads, benches, bookcases, cabinets, chests of drawers, counters, cupboards, curtains, desks, metal furniture, gun racks, mirrors, and many other types of common furniture all fall under this class.
Certain kinds of outdoor furniture, such as deck chairs, flower pot pedestals, and flower stands, appear in this class as well.
Finally, furniture designed for infants and children are also included in this class. Anti-roll cushions, changing mats, bassinets and cradles, toy chests, high chairs, and more are all further examples of furniture which Class 20 covers.
Some materials used to make furniture are a part of this class as well. In most cases, these materials are semi-processed goods which can be used to create different types of specialized furniture.
For example, Class 20 includes goods such as furniture bolts, non-metal brackets, barrel hoops, certain types of doors, dowels, pegs, pins, furniture feet, non-metal hinges and latches, and other similar products.
Specialized products such as animal claws, horns, and hooves, bamboo, coral, un-worked and semi-worked ivory, oyster shells, and other similar goods also appear in this class
Note that most other types of conventional raw materials (such as wood, metal, and stone) generally fall under other classes.
Bedding and Cushions
Class 20 covers a wide variety of bedding and cushion products, including air pillows, mattresses, beds, non-linen bedding, camping mattresses, and water beds.
Much like standard furniture, some kitchenware is also in Class 20.
Some examples include bottle racks, non-metal bottle caps and closures, wooden bottle casings, wooden casks for decanting wine, chopping blocks, corks, dinner wagons, and mats for sinks.
Non-Metal Storage Equipment
A few specific types of non-metal storage equipment also appear in this class.
For example, bag hangers, barrels, baskets, wooden and plastic boxes, clothes hangers, garment covers, clothes hampers, and other similar products all appear in this class.
Other storage items include filing cabinets, index cabinets, jewelry organizer displays, lockers, medicine cabinets, magazine racks, newspaper display racks, and more.
Furniture for Animals
Even various forms of furniture for pets and livestock are in Trademark Class 20.
Animal beds, beehives, birdhouses, kennels, and nesting boxes are all included in Class 20.
Since Class 20 generally covers all types of furniture, there are a few additional items which fall under this class as well.
Examples include coffins, non-jewelry crucifixes, display boards and stands, drain traps, non-electric fans, inflatable furniture, wooden and plastic ladders, and other similar items.
Since Class 20 is so broad, some business owners have trouble figuring out whether their product falls under this class or one of a number of related classes.
If you’re having trouble deciding, consider a few of these related examples:
- Common metal goods (Class 6)
- Medical furniture such as hospital beds (Class 10)
- Non-metal building materials (Class 19)
What Does Class 20 Not Include?
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) specifically excludes the following products from Class 20:
- Bed linen, eiderdowns, and sleeping bags (Class 24).
- Mirrors used in optical goods, dentistry or surgery, rearview mirrors, and sighting mirrors for guns (Classes 9, 10, 12, and 13).
- Some goods made of woods, cork, reed, cane, wicker, horn, bones, ivory, whalebone, shell, amber, mother-of-pearl, meerschaum, plastic, or substitute materials that are classified by their function (Classes 14, 19, 21, and 27).
Registering a trademark is a great way to protect your business. When you are filing your application, you will need to figure out which international trademark class or classes best suit your business.
If you make furniture or any of the related items listed, you should start your research with Class 20. If you find you are having a hard time picking the right class, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney to help you with your application.