This article will cover class 23 trademark protections. Class 23 protects different threads and yarns for textile use.
Registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is a great way to protect your brand. Before you register, do some research on the process and the different international trademark classes to make sure you have some basic knowledge to navigate the application process.
What Is a Trademark?
A trademark is an image, logo, design, slogan, phrase, etc. that credits you as the source of a good or service and helps you set yourself apart from your competition. A trademark is a tool to help you create and protect your brand.
Common Law Trademark Rights
You don’t always have to register a trademark, if you own a small local business and do not plan to expand or get involved in e-commerce, you might not need to register. As your business grows, however, registering is a good idea.
Registered trademark holders can still infringe on the rights of someone who only has common law protections. If a common law trademark holder has priority, they may have legal protection from someone registering a mark that might cause confusion.
A dead trademark is a mark that was previously registered with the USPTO, but has lapsed in some way. Dead trademarks sometimes retain common law rights, so be careful and consider hiring an attorney if you are interested in a registering a mark that is similar to an abandoned or dead trademark.
Registered Trademark Rights
A registered trademark is a great tool for businesses that plan to expand. It offers protection in areas outside of your original geographical location and protections in e-commerce. You also gain the ability to bring legal action in cases of infringement in both state and federal court.
With the increased protections comes a longer application and up-keep process. You have to apply for a registered trademark and continually update information with the USPTO so that your mark does not become abandoned. You can check the status of your mark using the Trademark Status and Document Retrieval (TSDR).
How to Register a Trademark
You can register a trademark online with the USPTO using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). There are a few different kinds of registration forms including the TEAS Plus form, the TEAS Reduced Fee form, and the Teas Regular form.
The TEAS Plus form has the highest approval rate with the USPTO. When you register using the TEAS Plus form, your good or services must fall under a list already approved by the USPTO.
The TEAS Reduced Fee form has a different set of requirements and does not require the applicant to choose an identification of goods or services from the Trademark ID manual. Both this form and the Plus come at a reduced rate.
The TEAS Regular form is best suited for businesses that need a very specific and customized identification. This form has a high filing cost but may help the applicant avoid causing confusion in the marketplace.
If you aren’t sure which form is right for you, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney to help you with the application process.
International Trademark Classes
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) created the Nice Classification at the Nice Agreement in 1957. International trademark classes categorize goods and services based on different factors. When you register a trademark, you will need to decide which international trademark class fits your business the best.
Sometimes a business will fit more than one class, so they will register under each one. Especially if you are constantly expanding the goods and services you offer to your customers, consider registering your business in more than one class.
Registering a Class 23 Trademark
When you register a trademark in any class, you are looking to protect yourself from infringement within the industry. It’s entirely possible that another business will use a similar trademark to yours, but it’s only an issue if there is a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace.
Say you want to register a mark for your company that specializes in embroidery threads and yarns, a company that produces a class 2 paint product can have a similar mark because people are unlikely to confuse the marks when they hit the market.
If you are concerned about infringing on someone’s rights, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney to help. You should also use the Trademark Electronic Search System to begin doing your own research to find any active or inactive marks similar to yours.
What Is Trademark Class 23?
Trademark Class 23 protects different yarns and threads for textile use. It is a very narrow category compared to a lot of the other classes.
Yarn and Thread
Class 23 is a smaller class in comparison to some of the other classes. This classification includes: chenille, coir, cotton, darning, elastic, embroidery, fiberglass, hemp, jute, linen, rayon, rubber, sewing, spun thread, and woolen thread and yarn; and spun wool, cotton, and silk.
Class 22 is very similar to class 23. Class 22 protects ropes, various fibers, and other textile materials. If you are using raw or natural fibers there is a good chance that class 22 will fit your product the best, but the yarns and threads listed above are specifically a part of trademark class 23.
What Is Not Included in Class 23?
The World Intellectual Property Organization does not specify any related goods that are not in class 23. If your business makes something you think might fit into trademark class 23 but isn’t specified on the list, consider asking an attorney for help. Chances are if your product does not fit the description of the different yarns and threads in this class, it belongs in a different or additional class.
Applying to register a trademark can be a difficult process. With the right amount of research and legal aid, it is a great way to protect and grow your brand. If you own a business that creates the types of yarns or threads listed above, a registration under trademark class 23 might be right for you.