When you want to register your trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for products or services in more than one class, it is possible to do so via a single application. You have to file it using the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS).
The USPTO permits trademark registration applicants to include various goods and/or services spanning multiple classes on a single trademark application submission. These goods and/or services can be in any of the 45 classes that the USPTO recognizes. When submitting a single application for trademark registration that covers many classes, there are benefits as well as drawbacks to consider.
Advantages of Multiclass Trademark Registration
It is important to keep in mind that one doesn’t attain categorical and exclusive rights over the entire class of goods or services with trademark registration. Rather, a person’s right to a trademark is restricted to the specified goods and services under the banner of the trademark.
When filing a trademark application, it is essential to strike a balance between the competing interests of covering all goods and services that are required to incorporate in relation to the brand while avoiding spending an excessive amount of money on government fees for classes of goods and services that may not actualize.
Sometimes, it’s more convenient to submit a single application covering many classes.
The data for the applicant, the mark, and the correspondent only has to be entered once in a single application. As an added bonus, you just have to keep track of one overseas filing deadline.
Saving trademark registration costs
It may be more cost-effective in the long run to file a multiclass application. While the USPTO does allow for several classes of goods and services to be filed at the time of the first application filing, an applicant is not allowed to add additional classes to that same application after it has been submitted.
Naturally, you would then have to file a new application all over again. Therefore, it is generally prudent to initially register for all the goods and services currently in use, to avoid the additional legal fees associated with filing separate applications, thus saving on your trademark registration costs.
If you offer multiple services or products under one trademark, including multiple classes in your federal trademark application will afford your brand more protection. This is especially true when the services and products are not related.
For example, if your business offers consulting services in addition to physical books, applying only for physical books will not allow you as the business owner to prevent others from using the same or similar trademark for consulting services.
Now, it is also important to note that multiclass trademark registration carries certain drawbacks. One of them is the greater risk of cancellation of the trademark, if one of the goods or services included in that application is not in use. Moreover, when it comes to ‘intent-of-use,’ the federal trademark application process can get complex and expensive if any of the classes are not in use at the time the application is filed.
To decide whether you want to file a single-class application or a multiclass one, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each to decide what is most beneficial for you. Consult us at Off the Mark IP Solutions, to find out more about how to file a federal trademark application for your brand.