Whether you’re just starting out or have already made a name for yourself, protecting your brand is an important part of owning a business.
In order to protect your brand in court, you need to register your company’s identifying mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). One of the most critical steps in the registration process is choosing the correct trademark class.
In this article, we’ll go over trademark class 45, which protects personal, social, and security services. Class 45 is the final class in the Nice Classification of trademark classes.
What Is a Trademark?
In the world of business, you’ll probably hear a lot of talk about branding. A company’s brand is the first impression the public has of their product or service. It’s the “face” of the business. That’s why most companies want to protect their brand by federally registering their trademarks.
A trademark is a registered image, logo, phrase, design, slogan, or word that sets your company apart from your competition. It helps your customer recognize your business among a sea of options.
Registering a Class 45 Trademark
When you file for a trademark, the application will ask you to choose which trademark class best fits your product or service. There are 45 classes in all, 34 for goods and 11 for services. You need to register your trademark under every class you plan on doing business in.
For example, if you have a pet sitting service (class 45) and you also sell branded t-shirts (class 25) you’ll have to register your mark under both.
You can file your class 45 trademark application online with the USPTO using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). When you file, you have to choose between the TEAS Plus form, the TEAS Reduced Fee form, and the TEAS Regular form.
Each application has benefits depending on what type and size of business you have. If you aren’t sure which application is best for you or you have any questions about the application process, don’t hesitate to ask an attorney for help.
What Is a Class 45 Trademark?
Class 45 includes personal, social, and security services. Essentially, any business that protects, or supervises, property or individuals goes into this class. This definition is intentionally broad, as class 45 covers a wide range of services from firefighting to pet sitting and legal services.
The large majority of personal services included in this class relate to the legal profession. Some examples of the most common include:
- Adoption agency services
- Arbitration services
- Legal research, document preparation services, and services in relation to the negotiation of contracts for others
- Litigation services
- Lost property return
- Civil mediation
- Registration of domain names
- Copyright management
- Intellectual property consultancy
- Licensing of intellectual property
- Monitoring intellectual property rights for legal advisory purposes
Class 45 also covers many general licensing services, such as:
- Legal administration of licenses
- Licensing of computer software
- Licensing in the framework of software publishing
This class also protects certain spiritual lifestyle services. These services can include:
- Fortune-telling and horoscope casting
- Online social networking services
- Spiritual consultancy
Family and Personal Services
Several family-related services are also included in this trademark class, including:
- Genealogical services
- House sitting
- Pet sitting
- Burial and funeral services
- Personal wardrobe styling consultancy
- Personal letter writing
A lot of the services in this class involve interactions between different people and communities. Some examples include:
- Escort services
- Dating services
- Detective agencies
- Wedding planners
- Businesses that organize religious ceremonies
Some personal rental services are also included in class 45. These can include services that rent out:
- Evening dresss
- Fire alarms and fire extinguishers
- Internet domain names
Emergency and Safety Services
Lastly, many private emergency and safety services also fall under this class. Some common examples of these types of services include:
- Safety inspections
- Missing person investigations
- Security alarm monitoring
- Guard services (security guards, night guards, personal body guards)
Choosing which class your company falls under can be tricky. Services which fall under this class overlap with services (or products) in the other classes.
If you’re having trouble figuring out whether your service fits into this class, remember that these are personal services. Basically, the services that you offer are personalized to each customer. They need to meet the social and security needs of the customer.
What Services are Not Included in Class 45?
As we mentioned, several services are related to, but do not fall under, trademark class 45. Generally, this discrepancy is because other trademark classes already cover that form of commerce. Here are a few of these exceptions:
- Services relating to financial or monetary affairs, as well as insurance (class 36)
- Escorting travelers (class 39)
- Security transport (class 39)
- Educational services (class 41)
- Performances, such as singers and dancers (class 41)
- Computer programming services that produce software (class 42)
- Computer and internet security consultations and encryption services (class 42)
- Services provided by others related to the medical, hygienic, or beauty care of humans and animals (class 44)
- Certain specific rental services (consult the Alphabetical List of Services)
Registering a trademark with the USPTO is a smart way to protect your business as it grows. When you fill out your trademark application, you need to choose the trademark classes that fit your business the best. If you offer personal, social, or security services, class 45 might be right for you.
If you have any more questions about applying for a registered trademark, you should consult with an experienced trademark attorney attorney for help.