If your company has an identifying mark or symbol, protect it with a trademark. Trademarks keep other companies from using your logo or company phrase.
But what trademark class does your company belong in?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) breaks trademarks into 45 classes, each class representing a specific category of products or services. This article will cover trademark class 21 – 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.
Also, the different classes allow two companies to trademark the same name, as long as they are not in the same class or industry. For instance, the name “Quest” could refer to an energy bar or a travel agent. The USPTO can approve both trademarks because they aren’t in the same class, and therefore won’t be in competition with each other.
When you are filling out your application, the USPTO will ask which class or classes your company belongs in. In your application, you will describe the product or service your company provides to be sure you are filing in the right class.
The Class 21 Trademark
Trademark class 21 includes kitchen utensils, pots and 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 food or drinks in 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. Grandma’s rolling pin is in trademark class 21 as well, along with baking sheets and cooling racks.
All kinds of barware, such as whiskey glasses and beer mugs are included in class 21. Drinking flasks, ice buckets, cocktail shakers, and all such items in your bar at home are in this category.
Brushes for cleaning shoes, toilets, and dishes are in this category. This class also includes the hair and pig bristles that are used to make cleaning brushes. All kinds of brooms are in trademark class 21 as well.
This group also covers buckets for cleaning, cleaning cloths, cleaning gloves, scouring pads, sponges and steel wool. And we can’t forget the place where all the dirt goes: trash cans and dustbins are in class 21 too.
If they are not made of paper, all flower pots and containers are in this category. Sprinklers, hoses, watering cans, and gardening gloves are in this class. All indoor and outdoor terrariums are included here as well.
Combs, hair brushes, and all brushes for cosmetic purposes (eyebrow brushes, makeup brushes, and shaving brushes) are in class 21. Soap dishes and paper dispensers, towel racks and vanity cases are here as well. Even chamber pots are in this category (although it’s unlikely that there is a trademark application for a chamber pot company this week).
Toothbrushes – hand-powered or electric – are in this class. Dental floss, water pics, and any other tools to clean your teeth are in trademark class 21.
Animal supplies for indoor and outdoor pets are covered in this class. These may include:
- Bird baths and cages
- Animal cages
- Drinking and feeding troughs
- Aquariums and tanks
- Brushes and combs for animals
- Poultry rings
- Litter boxes
This includes all electric fly swatters or bug zappers, as well as insect, rat, and mouse traps.
Storage of clothing and shoes
Items to help store and save clothing and footwear are on this list, including:
- Shoe trees and boot stretchers
- Clothing and drying racks
- Shoe horns
- Ironing boards and covers
- Tie and trouser presses (non-electric)
- Shoe-polishing equipment (non-electric)
Some types of glass
Pieces of glass, porcelain, ceramics, or terra cotta that would be in a house are in this category. This is not limited to useful things like flower pots and piggy banks. Even pieces of art, sculptures, statues, and busts are in class 21. Mosaic glass and stained, plated, and decorative powdered glass is in this class, too.
It seems like every trademark class has an item that is not like the others. In class 21, it’s fiberglass.
Fiberglass, enameled glass, and glass wool are in this category, but only if they are not for insulation. This includes fiberglass threads.
Related Products That Are Not in Trademark Class 21
It can be difficult to figure out which class your trademark should be in. If you’re not sure if your product falls under class 21, consider these related classes:
Class 3 – Cleaning substances: This includes all soaps and products for cleaning, but not the cleaning tools themselves.
Class 11 – Appliances: All electric appliances will fall into this category. Class 21 only includes kitchen tools that are hand-powered.
Class 20 – Furniture: Mirrors, including bathroom mirrors are in class 20 – furniture.
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 who can help you understand the trademark classes, and choose which class your product or service should be in. A lawyer can also make sure you are not infringing on any other trademark before you go through the application process.