All trademarks in the United States fall under at least one of 45 different trademark categories.
This system of trademark classes ensures that businesses in the same sectors remain distinct from one another in their branding.
By doing this, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) lessens customer confusion, and promotes fair competition between companies.
However, all of this is dependent on trademark applicants filing under the correct trademark class.
In this article, we’ll cover Class 13 trademark goods, which include firearms, fireworks, and explosives.
Why Register a Class 13 Trademark?
When you register your business’s logo or name as a trademark, you claim it as an essential, unique part of your brand.
This trademark will help you protect your brand in the future if another company tries to infringe upon your mark.
For example, if you register your guitar brand as a Class 15 trademark, no other music company can use branding similar to that brand.
Note, however, that you can only fight cases of infringement within your trademark class.
For this reason, even if you register a Class 13 trademark you won’t be able to take a car company to court for having the same name as your business.
This is why choosing the right trademark class to register under is so important.
Many businesses choose to file under multiple trademark classes in order to better protect their brand.
This strategy has the advantage of allowing you to cover multiple bases, especially if you plan on expanding your brand down the line.
However, it’s also significantly more expensive than filing under a single trademark class.
Additionally, USPTO will reject proposals that seem engineered to game the system by applying to obviously inapplicable trademark classes.
What are Class 13 Goods?
Class 13 is a goods-based trademark class.
This means that if your company offers any type of service, you’ll want to register elsewhere as well.
Unlike other goods categories which can be quite broad, the goods included under trademark Class 13 fall into just a few specific categories.
We’ll outline each below.
Weapons and Ammunitions
All forms of personal firearms and ammunitions fall under Class 13.
This includes unconventional and non-lethal munitions, such as rubber bullets. It also includes firearm parts, including cosmetic accessories.
In addition to firearms, many types of explosives fall under the Class 13 trademark category.
Essentially, any sort of explosive with military applications, such as missiles or hand grenades, will be trademarked under this class.
Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are also Class 13 trademark goods. This also includes explosive illuminants like flares or fog signals.
Some non-military explosives also count as Class 13 trademark goods.
Mining explosives, for example, should be registered under this class of trademark. Note that this also includes the individual parts and pieces of explosive devices, such as blast caps or fuses.
Since the products commonly found in Class 13 have a wide range of uses, the USPTO lists certain other “coordinated” classes that trademark filers might also want to register under.
This simply means that businesses registering under Class 13 often find themselves registering under another class as well.
For Class 13 trademark goods, the coordinated classes are:
- Class 28 (Games and Sporting Goods) – Accessories for hunting firearms frequently straddle the line between Class 13 and 28. For that reason, it’s a good policy for the producers of such goods to file under both.
- Class 35 (Advertising Businesses and Services) – If your business has a significant advertising or branding component, you might consider filing those aspects of your brand under Class 35.
- Class 42 (Science and Technology Services) – Many weapons and pyrotechnics manufacturers are also paid for their research services and should file under Class 42.
- Class 45 (Legal and Security Services) – If your business has a private security component, don’t forget to file under Class 45 as well.
Fortunately, if you forget to file under one or more classes, it’s easy to add more classes later.
Applying for a trademark is a huge step for any business. That’s why it’s important to prepare as much as you can beforehand.
At best, mistakes during the trademark registration process will waste your time and money—at worst, they can prevent you from holding intellectual property vital to your business.
By making careful plans, informing yourself, and contacting a trademark lawyer beforehand, you can negotiate this difficult legal area to your company’s benefit.