What is a trademark International Class (IC)?
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) uses international classes as indicators for products or services represented by marks. Everything that can be sold (both tangible and intangible) is assigned an International Class (IC).
There are 45 international classes organized as follows: 34 categories for goods/products and 11 categories for services. Classes 1 to 34 are for goods and the remaining 11 classes are for services.
With just 45 classifications to categorize all goods and services, it is not uncommon for two seemingly unrelated things to be grouped together. For example, abrasive cleaners and cosmetics belong to the same class i.e., International Class 3. It is important to note that the IC is not indicative of whether there is a likelihood of confusion between two marks. The USPTO or court will look at whether the marks themselves, not the IC, are too similar and could cause customer confusion as to the source of the goods.
Trademark applicants can use the USPTO ID Manual to find the appropriate IC. If the product or service falls under more than one IC, the applicant must pay a registration fee for each class. For example, if you sell both food and clothing, you must register the trademarks in the appropriate class and pay the two registration fees.
What trademark International Class is clothing?
Most clothing falls under trademark International Class 25. Footwear and headgear are also within IC 25.
If you register a trademark that is currently in commercial use, you are required to provide a sample/specimen of the trademark. The specimen must show the mark as used on or in connection with the goods/services in commerce. For clothing, the specimen should be a tag or label attached to the item. The stamping of a trademark on products, on the container or on labels or labels attached to products or containers is an appropriate method of affixing a trademark.
Clothing for humans is within class 25. Clothing for animals falls under class 18.
However, some clothing for humans, such as protective clothing (clothing for protection against fire, bullet-proof vests, clothing for protection against chemicals and radiation) are classified under International Class 9.
It is important to specify the type of clothing and verify the international class by checking the USTPO ID Manual when submitting your application. If done incorrectly, the USPTO could issue an initial refusal (office action). That would require more time and money to properly secure your trademark.
Research assistance by Darshani Baccus
For any questions regarding trademarks, searches, applications, and/or office actions, please contact MDGR LAW. We are happy to provide assistance with this process!
Melissa D. Goolsarran Ramnauth, Esq. is a trademark and business attorney. She writes articles on trademark law. She also writes weekly articles on West Indian history and politics to raise awareness of the past, and educate the Caribbean diaspora on the need for legal contracts and trademarks.
She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, a minor degree in History that focused on the slavery and indentured servitude eras, a minor degree in Criminology, and a Juris Doctor degree.
MDGR Law, P.A.