In order to build your business, you need to protect its resources. As you begin to build your brand, it’s best to register your company’s logo, word, or phrase as a trademark.
If you decide to register your mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), you’ll have to pick the trademark class that best suits your product or service. There are 45 classes in total, 34 for goods and 11 for services.
This article covers trademark class 44, which protects services including healthcare, hygiene and beauty, and specific agricultural jobs such as gardening.
What Is a Trademark?
When it comes to growing a business, representation matters. Savvy business owners put a lot of thought into how they present themselves to the public. Once you determine how you want to represent your company to potential customers, you should protect these assets with a registered trademark.
A trademark is a protected image, logo, design, slogan, or phrase that establishes your brand. It sets your company apart from your competition, and clearly displays your products and services to the consumer.
Registering a Class 44 Trademark
In order to register a trademark, you’ll need to file an online application with the USPTO using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). Registering a new mark can be relatively (and deceptively) easy. Often, first time applicants meet unexpected problems down the line because they missed a crucial detail early in the process.
We’ll outline two of the most common mistakes below.
Different Types of Trademark Applications
There are a few different types of applications, including the TEAS Plus form, the TEAS Reduced Fee form, and the TEAS Regular form.
Each application has different benefits, depending on the type of business you have. Similarly, choosing the wrong form can result in huge problems and delays. Because of the specific requirements for each form, you’ll want to consult with an attorney before making your final decision.
Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS)
Before you register a trademark, remember to do your research. If your mark infringes on the property of another person or business, the USPTO will immediately reject your application, and you’ll lose any money and time you’ve already put into the process.
You can reduce the chances of infringing on someone else’s mark by using the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). TESS will help you to see other trademarks that might be similar enough to yours to cause confusion.
When you do a search, you’ll see that some marks are active and others are inactive. Even if a trademark is inactive or dead, it might still have protections. It’s better to check this list before you begin your trademark application, so you can avoid a rejection later.
You may also want to purchase a trademark search report for a more thorough analysis. This report can often pick up on marks a normal database search will miss.
What Is a Class 44 Trademark?
Class 44 is a rather interesting class, as it mostly covers services which increase the health and beauty of people, plants, and animals. Remember that this class is for services, not the production of goods. So, while dog grooming would fall under this class, dog shampoo would not.
We’ll list some of the other common examples below.
Farm and Garden Services
If you sell farm and garden services, your trademark will most likely fall under this class. Remember, however, that a class 44 trademark registration only covers the service itself, and not any products you are selling or using. These services can include:
- Aerial and surface spreading of fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals
- Farming equipment rentals
- Flower arranging
- Gardening, horticulture, weed killing, and landscape design
- Pest control that protects plants
- Reforestation services, tree surgery, and tree planting for carbon offsetting purposes
- Wreath making
Many medical services also fall under class 44. If your business offers any of these services, you should register in this class:
- Alternative medical services
- Artificial insemination services, in vitro fertiliztion services, and midwifery
- Blood bank services
- Chiropractic care
- Convalescent home services
- Health center services, hospital services, and health counseling
- Hospice, palliative care, and nursing home services
- Optician’s services, orthodontic services, and speech therapy
- Pharmacy services
- Physical therapy
- Plastic surgery
- Rehabilitation services
Hygienic and Beauty Services
Class 44 also includes many hygienic and beauty services, both for humans and animals. Note, however, that most direct medical services fall under other categories. Some examples of services for humans include:
- Beauty salon services
- Body piercing and tatooing
- Hair waxing and hair implantation
- Public baths, saunas, and spas
Likewise, you can also find the animal equivalents to many of these services in this class. Some common examples of these types of services include:
- Certain breeding services
- Walking and exercise
- Veterinarian services
Services Not Included in Class 44
Many business owners experience trouble figuring out which trademark class to register under. For that reason, listing a few services that class 44 does not cover is also quite helpful. Those services include, but are not limited to:
- Vermin extermination not for agriculture or horticulture and forestry (class 37)
- Installation and repair services for irrigation systems (class 37)
- Ambulance transport (class 39)
- Animal slaughtering services and taxidermy (class 40)
- Timber felling and processing (class 40)
- Animal training services (class 41)
- Health clubs for physical exercise (class 41)
- Scientific research services for medical purposes (class 42)
- Boarding for animals (class 43)
- Retirement homes (class 43)
When you apply to register your mark or brand name with the USPTO, you must choose one or more of the 45 international trademark classes to file under.
Trademark class 44 protects businesses that perform services based around healthcare, hygiene and beauty, and specific agricultural needs.
If you have more questions about class 44 or your trademark application, feel free contact one of our attorneys. Asking for the assistance of an experienced trademark lawyer is often a crucial first step for small business owners looking to register their first mark.