What Does Class 35 Cover in Trademark Applications?

The United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, requires all trademark applicants to select the trademark classes that represent the goods or services they plan to offer. With 45 trademark classes to choose from, it can be challenging to decide which best matches your brand. Trademark Class 35 covers a variety of business services, but is it right for your company? Here’s an overview of this frequently used trademark class.

What Does Class 35 Include?

Trademark Class 35 covers advertising and business services. Because such a wide range of business services and functionalities are covered, it is frequently included in trademark applications. In fact, most services associated with advertising, carrying out, and managing commercial businesses are covered in Class 35. Because this is a service class, however, no products will be protected under this trademark class. A more exhaustive list of services included in Class 35 can be found on the USPTO website. The following list is some of its more commonly used services:

  • Advertising services, including the design, publishing, and distribution of advertising content, as well as services provided through public relations and marketing firms. Product demonstration services and trade shows are also included.
  • Business management and management services, including hotel and sports management.
  • Business administration services, including human resource management, recruiting websites, and payroll services.
  • Office functions, including data processing, bookkeeping, secretarial services, transcription, and office equipment rental.
  • Retail services, including the business names of stores and online retail sites, but not the products being sold.

Which Classes are Coordinated with Class 35?

While Class 35 is broad, it’s not inclusive of all business-related services and will not protect products offered under the trademark. Because your trademark will only be protected in those classes you’ve included in your trademark application, it’s important to consider all the products and services you plan to offer. If, in addition to advertising and business services, your trademark will also be used in conjunction with a product, you need to include the product’s trademark class as well. Some coordinating product classes include:

  • Class 9: Electrical and Scientific Apparatus—Needed if your business also offers computer software or electronics
  • Class 25: Clothing—Needed if your retail business sells clothing, including footwear and headwear

If your business provides services outside those referenced in Class 35, consider these coordinating service classes:

  • Class 36: Insurance and Finance—Includes services provided by banking establishments, credit institutions, and insurance agencies.
  • Class 41: Education and Entertainment—Includes training of people or animals, art presentations, and sporting and cultural events.
  • Class 45: Legal and Security Services—Includes legal services of any kind, as well as licensing services and emergency services.

How to Register a Class 35 Trademark

The USPTO won’t approve your registration if a confusingly similar trademark is already in use. Work with an experienced IP attorney to conduct a comprehensive search of the trademark database, looking for existing marks in Class 35 that may cause a likelihood of confusion in the marketplace. If a conflicting mark is found, you’ll likely need to change your trademark prior to submitting your application to the USPTO. However, if no conflicts are found, you can begin the process to register your mark by paying your filing fees and filing your application.

Paper applications are no longer accepted, so you’ll need to apply through the Trademark Electronic Application System, or TEAS, which can be found on the USPTO website. You will need to indicate the trademark classes you plan to use under your preferred trademark. Keep in mind your mark will only be protected in the classes registered, so work with your attorney to determine all of the classes that represent your brand.

You’ll have two options when filing your trademark application, either “Use in Commerce” if you are already offering your services in the marketplace, or “Intent to Use” if you are not yet offering your services under Class 35. If you select “Intent to Use,” you will need to document the use of the mark within the timeframe set by the USPTO. A specimen, or sample of your trademark, will also need to be included in your trademark application. For Class 35, appropriate specimens include:

  • Advertising materials, including direct mail pieces, audio files of radio ads, and photos of billboards
  • Business cards that clearly describe the services being offered
  • A screenshot of a website for services rendered digitally

The following are not acceptable specimens for Class 35:

  • News releases
  • Invoices
  • Packing slips
  • Business cards that do not document the services provided

Trademark Class 35

Selecting trademark classes on an application is an important step of the registration process, but which classes to include aren’t always easily determined. If you currently offer advertising and business services, or plan to do so in the near future, you should register your trademark in Class 35, which includes a wide range of services from creating marketing materials to retail sales. Work with an attorney to decide if Class 35 is right for your business, and if any other classes should be considered to provide your business with the broadest protections possible. Want to learn more about trademark classes? Watch our video on the explanation of what trademark classes are.

Josh Gerben, Esq.

Josh Gerben, Esq. is the founder and principal of Gerben IP. In 2008, Mr. Gerben started the firm to provide high-quality trademark services at reasonable prices. Today, he is recognized by the World Trademark Review as a top trademark filer, having registered over 7,500 trademarks. The contents of this blog are for informational purposes only and may not be relied on as legal advice.

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