Last updated on February 1st, 2019
Building a business is hard work. In order to protect what you have built, you might be considering registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
When you fill out your application, you will need to know what international trademark class best fits the good or service you provide. There are 34 classes for goods and 11 classes for services.
This article will cover international Trademark Class 31 protections. Class 31 protects natural agricultural products.
What Is a Trademark?
Building a brand is a crucial part of establishing your business. A trademark is an image, slogan, logo, phrase, etc. that you can use as a branding tool.
Not only does a trademark establish you as the original source of your product, but it also sets you apart from your competition.
When your customer engages with the marketplace, a trademark will help them recognize your product and the reputation you have built.
What Is a Class 31 Trademark?
Class 31 includes natural agriculture products. Specifically, this class covers products such as fresh fruits and vegetables as well as live animals. It also covers various unprocessed goods such as raw timber and unprocessed algae,
Most of the goods covered by Class 31 are unprocessed plant products.
The full list of products is quite extensive. However, there are a few staple products that serve as good examples of goods that this class would cover:
- Most fresh fruits and vegetables
- Plant residue and algae
- Fresh mushrooms and truffles
- Unprocessed cereals
- Trees, shrubs, and bushes of all sizes (as well as the associated timber)
Live Animals and Livestock
Live animals also make up a large part of this trademark class. However, this is usually in relation to animals that are sold while still alive, such as pets and certain bait animals.
Some examples include:
- Breeding animals
- Fertilized eggs for hatching
- Fish spawn
- Live fishing bait
- Farm animals
- Various life fish such as tuna
Agricultural Equipment and Items
Finally, there are many miscellaneous agricultural items which also fall under this class. In most cases, these items relate to the actual raising of these live animals. Some examples include:
- Animal food, including dog biscuits and other pet treats
- Animal litter
- Cattle salt
- Straw mulch/litter/etc.
- Wood chips for animal cages
As you can see, Class 31 covers a wide array of “raw” agricultural goods, from live animals to unprocessed timber. For this reason, there is some overlap with other related classes.
For example, Class 29 covers most processed meat, as well as cooked fruits and vegetables. Similarly, Class 30 includes cocoa, sugar, rice and other staple foods that would otherwise fall under Class 31.
In addition to these two examples, the World Intellectual Property Organization notes a few other items that are specifically excluded from Class 31. These items include:
- Dietary supplements for animals and medicated animal feed (Class 5)
- Semi-worked woods (Class 19)
- Artificial fishing bait (Class 28)
- Rice (Class 30)
- Raw tobacco (Class 34)
Registering a trademark is a great way to protect both your brand and your business. When you register, the application will ask for the international trademark class that best fits what you are selling.
If you produce natural agricultural goods, your trademark will most likely fall under Trademark Class 31. Remember, if you aren’t sure about something on your application you should speak with an attorney who can help you out.