The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) defines 45 separate classifications of goods or services for trademark purposes. All trademark applications in the United States must be filed under at least one of these categories. By filing your application under the correct trademark class, you can stop other businesses in your sector from infringing on your intellectual property.
In this article, we’ll talk about the ins and outs of class 24 trademark goods. This includes a variety of textile products.
How to Register a Class 24 Trademark (and Why)
Applying for a trademark of any class is relatively simple, and can be completed online at the USPTO’s website. However, it’s important to prepare before you apply. Making a mistake on your trademark application can cause problems for your business down the line. Later on in this article, we’ll discuss some of the ways you can avoid these issues, but it’s still best to consult a trademark lawyer before applying.
So is it worth going to the trouble and expense of applying for a class 24 trademark? The answer is yes. Getting a trademark will allow you to legally contest all manner of unfair business practices.
However, this legal right only extends to goods or services within your trademark class. That’s why many brands choose to file under multiple trademark classes. Doing so is more expensive than applying under a single class but may be important depending on the nature of your business. That’s why its so important to understand which trademark classes apply to your business.
Class 24 Trademark Goods
The class 24 trademark classification includes a variety of textile goods. Its purpose is to be a “miscellaneous class” for goods that don’t fall into other categories. A few of the most common types of Trademark 24 Goods include:
Just about any type of raw fabric or textile falls into the class 24 trademark category. This includes materials intended for the creation of clothing or footwear. It also includes fiberglass materials.
Bed and Bath Linens
All types of blankets, bedding, and bath linens (such as towels) are class 24 trademark goods. Included in this group are some cosmetic items, such as makeup remover wipes. However, note that this does not include bathrobes, nightgowns, or pajamas, which are all class 25 trademark goods.
Finally, miscellaneous or decorative textile goods like flags and wall hangings fall into this category.
It’s also important to understand which goods do not fall into the class 24 trademark categories. Some of the most commonly-confused goods include:
- Yarns and threads, which are class 23 goods.
- Clothing of all kinds, which falls under class 25.
- Finished lace and embroidery, which are included in class 26. Somewhat confusingly, materials for embroidery are class 24 goods.
- Electrical blankets, which may be either class 10 or 11 goods.
Finally, note that the class 24 trademark category is only for goods. Services related to textile goods should file under one of the service classes.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
Before you file your application, you’ll want to check it for the following errors:
Filing Under the Wrong Trademark Class
As you may have noticed, many of the categories above seem ambiguous when applied to the real world. For example, what if you want to trademark goods connected to both the design of a bathrobe and the material it’s made out of? In that case, you might want to file under both class 24 (for the material) and 25 (for the robe itself). It’s situations like these where having access to an experienced trademark lawyer will help.
Avoiding Similar Trademarks
The USPTO rejects trademark applications that seem too similar to existing brands. For that reason, you should always check the USPTO Database before submitting an application for a new trademark. Note that the USPTO does not give feedback before you submit your application and will not answer questions pertaining specifically to other trademarks.
If your brand seems too close to one that’s already registered, it might be time to call a trademark lawyer. A good trademark lawyer will work with you to find out what changes you need to make to your trademark in order to have it accepted.
Maintaining Your Trademark
Once your trademark application is accepted by the USPTO, you then have to demonstrate that it’s in use. This means submitting regular (every five years or so) forms showing that you have been taking action against unfair competition if any exists. You also have to demonstrate that your trademark is actually in use.
The main thing that a trademark protects against is infringement. This means any situation where another company uses a mark that could create customer confusion with your products in order to sell their products. In general, this means that the infringing party needs to be in the same trademark class, and the same geographic area (unless it’s an online business). Also, registering with the USPTO means you are the priority user in all 50 states, even if you don’t currently do business in a specific region.
Some other uses of your IP may be classified as unfair competition. These include selling knock-off or counterfeit products, unauthorized reselling, and similar practices. Note that Fair Use practices, such as parody or nominal use (e.g. comparing your product to another product in an ad) are not considered unfair competition unless they create excessive confusion among customers.
Applying for a trademark can help you create a distinctive brand unique to your company. However, it’s important to prepare beforehand. Consulting a trademark lawyer before you apply can help you avoid mistakes that can cost your company down the line.