The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) divides trademarks into 45 unique classes. Each class represents a specific category of products, goods, or services.
This article will cover Trademark Class 8, which broadly covers a variety of hand operated tools and implements.
Registering a Class 8 Trademark
Many business owners are unsure about whether they can or should register their distinctive mark as a trademark, but the importance of registering your mark with the USPTO cannot be understated.
Trademarks legally prevent other businesses from imitating or profiting off of your brand. Further, registered trademarks gain a whole host of legal protections which can help protect any form of distinctive name, symbol, service, or product.
However, these protections only work within specifically designated classes.
For this reason, multiple companies with the same name or brand can exist, but only if their marks are registered under different classes, and their businesses aren’t similar enough to confuse customers.
When you submit your trademark application to the USPTO, they’ll ask which class or set of classes your trademark belongs to. You can list any classes to which your good, product or service belongs, but each additional filing requires an extra fee.
What is a Class 8 Trademark?
By registering a Class 8 trademark, you are stating that your intellectual property relates to any number of goods specified by the USPTO.
These guidelines are intentionally broad, so here is a list of most of the goods commonly registered under Class 8:
- Animal shearing implements, cattle shearers, hair clippers for animals
- Hygienic and beauty implements for humans and animals, eyelash curlers, ear piercing apparatus, apparatus for tattooing
- Hair styling appliances, hair curling iron, flat iron, hair crimping iron
- Hair cutting and removal appliances, beard clippers, razor blades, shaving cases
- Manicure and pedicure tools, tweezers, nail buffers
- Food preparation implements, cheese slicers, egg slicers, meat choppers, forks, ladles, nutcrackers, sugar tongs, vegetable knives, can openers
- Hand operated tools and implements for treatment of materials, construction, and maintenance, ice picks, scissors, machetes, ticket punching instruments
- Animal slaughtering and butchering implements, cattle stunning appliances, hunting knives, tools for skinning animals
- Agricultural, gardening, and landscaping tools, budding knives, insecticide vaporizers, plant pruning scissors, scythes, shovels, tree pruners, weeding forks
- Fire tending implements, fire irons, fire bellows, caulking irons, crow bars, polishing irons
- Fastening and joining tools, screwdrivers, riveting hammers, wrenches
- Cutting, drilling, grinding, sharpening, and surface treatment hand tools
- Axes, sabres, swords, police batons, hand drills, hatchets, perforating tools, saw blades, tube cutting instruments, hand operated lifters
What Does Class 8 Not Cover?
You would not register a Class 8 trademark if you were registering machines and implements driven by a motor, surgical cutlery, firearms, paper knives, or fencing weapons.
If there is a similar intellectual property already registered under the same class, then you also won’t be able to get a trademark.
Fortunately, you can search the USPTO database to check if your potential trademark is already in use. Before filing, it’s common to hire an attorney to perform a comprehensive trademark search and review the results.
It’s a good idea to talk to a lawyer if you are unsure about whether your trademark will infringe on someone else’s intellectual property.
If you are unsure as to whether or not your intellectual property falls under Class 8, then it’s a good idea to read through related classes.
The USPTO has determined that applicants filing within Class 8 often also file in a number of related classes, such as:
- Class 7 (machines)
- Class 21 (household utensils)
- Class 37 (construction and repair services)
- Class 40 (material treatment services)
You don’t have to file your trademark under all of these classes, only the ones that directly apply.
What Does a Trademark Do?
Once you’ve registered for a Class 8 trademark, you will need it to fight trademark infringement. If you consistently fail to defend against infringement, then the USPTO considers your trademark “abandoned.”
However, holding a registered trademark can prevent “unfair competition,” a term that refers to imitations, knock-offs, and general unauthorized sales. This can include malicious imitation.
Although there has to be potential for confusion to claim trademark infringement, many companies still defend their trademarks when there is minimal confusion. They do this in order to avoid abandoning their trademarks.
Certain types of trademark use are considered fair use, despite being unauthorized. This means that the other party is acting in a legal manner not likely to result in confusion of your trademark with theirs.
Claiming that one service is superior to another is an example of fair use (“nominative use,” to be specific.) Likewise, parodies are usually fair use.
As with any business endeavor, your best bet is to do as much research as possible before registration.
A thorough search of the USPTO database will save you a lot of work in the long run. In addition, talking to a lawyer about your potential trademark registration is a great idea.
An experienced trademark lawyer will make it easier to protect your intellectual property at minimal expense to your company.
One last thing to keep in mind is renewing your trademark. If you do not keep up with the trademark maintenance documents, then you will lose your trademark. Luckily, this is easy to prevent with proper