Last updated on January 31st, 2019
If your company has an identifying mark or symbol, you should protect it from infringement with a trademark. Trademarks keep other companies from using your logo or company phrase.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office categorizes trademarks into one or more of 45 unique classes. Each class represents a specific category of products or services.
This article will cover Trademark Class 21, which offers protections to brands selling common forms of household utensils.
Why Are There Different Trademark Classes?
Thousands of trademarks exist already, and companies submit more trademark applications every day. Putting trademarks into classes helps organize the thousands of companies and their products.
In addition, trademark classes help brands distinguish between different market spheres so they can better judge how similar their brand is to another business’s.
For example, Class 21 covers common forms of utensils, so if you register your trademark under this class, no other utensil maker can use your name or logo. However, if a computer company wanted to use your name they could do so legally because they operate in a different market.
The Class 21 Trademark
Trademark class 21 includes various types of kitchen utensils, pots, pans, and hand-operated kitchen tools. This class also includes some cleaning tools and bathroom items, as well as most glassware and dishes.
Kitchen Utensils, Tableware, Cookware, and Bakeware
If you serve or eat food and drinks with it, it’s probably in Trademark Class 21.
Plates, bowls, silverware, glasses, and serving dishes are in this class, as well as napkin rings and serving baskets. Those obscure serving dishes that you only find in Grandma’s china cabinet are in this class too, like egg cups and tart molds. Rolling pins are in Class 21 as well, along with most forms of baking sheets and cooling racks.
Similarly, Class 21 also covers most forms of barware, such as whiskey glasses, ice buckets, drink shakers, and beer mugs.
Many common cleaning utensils fall under Class 21 as well, such as cleaning brushes, brooms, buckets, cleaning gloves, sponges, and steel wool. Trash cans and other similar disposal goods also fall under this category.
Combs, hair brushes, and all brushes for cosmetic purposes (eyebrow brushes, makeup brushes, and shaving brushes) are also included in Class 21. This class also includes most home dental tools, such as toothbrushes and floss.
Some gardening utensils also fall under this class, such as flower pots, sprinklers, watering cans, and gardening gloves. Certain indoor and outdoor terrariums are included as well, however, they might also fall under Trademark Class 20 depending on how they are used.
Storage of Clothing and Shoes
Items to help store and save clothing and footwear are on this list as well, including:
- Shoe trees and boot stretchers
- rying racks
- Shoe horns
- Ironing boards and covers
- Tie and trouser presses (non-electric)
- Shoe-polishing equipment (non-electric)
It seems like every trademark class has an item that’s not like the others. In Class 21, this item is fiberglass.
Fiberglass, enameled glass, and glass wool are in this category, but only if they are not used for insulation. Class 21 includes fiberglass threads as well.
Animal supplies for indoor and outdoor pets are covered by this class as well. These supplies include products such as:
- Drinking and feeding troughs
- Certain aquariums and tanks
- Brushes and combs for animals
- Litter boxes
- Bird baths
Certain pest tools also make an appearance in this class, such as bug zappers as well as most insect, rat, and mouse traps.
It can be difficult to figure out which class your trademark should be in. If you’re not sure whether your product falls under Class 21, consider a few of these related classes:
Class 3: Cleaning S
Class 11: Appliances – All electric appliances will fall into this category. Class 21 only includes kitchen tools that are hand-powered.
Class 20: Furniture – Most mirrors go into Class 20, including both bedroom and bathroom mirrors.
Trademark Class 21 includes all utensils, dishes, and tools used around the house and garden.
Filing for a trademark can be a complicated process. If you file your application using the wrong class, the USPTO will reject it.
It’s wise to get advice from an experienced trademark attorney before attempting to register your trademark. Mistakes can and do happen, so you’ll want to speak with a lawyer who can help direct you around common pitfalls in the process.