As a trademark agent just over 50% of enquirers are looking to trademark for a clothing line or merchandise. Figures released by the United States Patent Trademark Office in 2013 showed year end figures of statistics of most popular trademark classes registered in the United States. Interestingly 44% of all marks registered according to data in 2013 are filed under 5 main classes, one of these classes was class 25 clothing. It is definitely a popular class for registration.
Classification 25 covers clothing, footwear and headgear. These are a wide range of shoes, hats and clothes including but not limited to: leggings; pants; t-shirts; jackets; skirts; jeans; hoodies; tap shoes; baseball shoes; sandals; fashion hats; leather hats; chef hats.
There are other things you may wear as an accessory such as jewelry, however, this is not covered under class 25 but class 14 ‘Jewelry and precious metals’. Similarly, eye glasses would not be covered under class 25 but class 9 ‘Electrical and scientific apparatus’. Class 25 is more specifically for clothing you would wear but not all types of clothing or accessories. It also does not cover the type of material of a clothing such as yarn.
What does a successful class 25 trademark registration require?
Even if you are not using your trademark in business you will eventually have to submit specimens to the USPTO to complete your trademark registration and receive your official trademark certification. However, specimens are not required if you have already registered your trademark in another country. In this situation you will have to provide your foreign trademark certificate or the trademark application number for the country in which you have already registered or are in the process of registering.
The mark has to be on your specimens as you have applied for it on your trademark application. This means if you have applied for stylized wording with a logo for your clothing line it must be in that same stylized wording with your logo ON the specimen to be accepted. Standard wording of your trademark will NOT be accepted as a substitute by the USPTO.
Acceptable specimens to submit to the USPTO:
- Invoices/sale receipts – show a record of clothing that you have sold.
- Shipping/mailing labels- attach these to the goods or packaging in which you are sending goods to your customers.
- Stamps – stamped trademark can be placed on the goods or packaging or containers.
- Tags/Labels – attached to clothing or packaging
- On-line resources – websites, facebook, amazon, instagram with advertising of your clothing line and displays of your trademark on the particular type of clothing.
The above are all acceptable types of specimens to submit with your application for a trademark in class 25 clothing, footwear and headgear. The idea of the specimens you submit is to show that you are using your trademark in commerce. This is valid grounds to grant your trademark.