Protecting your intellectual properties (IPs) is an important part of starting a new business.
One way you can do that is by applying for a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
With that application, you’ll need to list the trademark class your brand’s products and services best falls into.
Which class you list can have a huge effect on your rights as a trademark holder, and is one of the most important decisions any trademark holder makes.
In this article, we’ll go over Class 37 trademark services. These include a variety of construction, repair, and mining services.
We’ll also go over some of the specific issues that come with applying for and maintaining a Class 37 trademark.
Why Should I Apply for a Class 37 Trademark?
Holding a trademark gives you the exclusive right to an intellectual property. This means that you can take legal action against companies that infringe on that property.
In this way, names, logos, slogans, and other forms of branding can all be trademarked. However, you can only take action against infringement within the same trademark class.
In other words, a company can use similar or even identical names or branding for services unrelated to your own.
Because of this, understanding trademark classes is extremely important for any company seeking to protect their brand.
Note that you can apply for multiple trademark classes. However, this can be more expensive.
A multiple-class application also takes longer to file and may receive greater scrutiny from the USPTO. Multiple-class applications are very common.
If you’re thinking about adding another class to your application, it’s best to consult a trademark lawyer first.
What Are Class 37 Trademark Services?
Broadly speaking, Trademark Class 37 includes all of the following:
- Construction, demolition, and various repair services. In addition to buildings, this includes work on roads such as asphalting. It also includes services which only supervise or oversee construction.
- Installation and repair services. This includes everything from installing kitchen equipment to maintaining nuclear reactors. It also includes many household installation services, such as security and plumbing services.
- Technology repair and maintenance services, such as computer repair or toner replacement.
- Vehicle and airplane maintenance services.
- Laundry services of all kinds.
- Mining, drilling, and extracting of materials.
- Equipment rental services for any of the above.
Related Trademark Classes
In addition tot he services listed above, the USPTO has designated a number of correlated classes for Class 37.
All this means is that business owners frequently apply to both.
If your brand doesn’t neatly fit into Class 37, consider applying to one or more of the following categories:
- Class 39: Shipping and Financial Services – If your rental or repair service offers financial tools or assistance to its customers, you’ll want this one.
- Class 40: Material Treatment Services – Many mining, drilling, and extracting services include a material processing component.
- Class 42: Science and Technology Services – Many businesses in the technology sector include separate IT and computer repair services.
Infringing on an Existing Trademark
Before you apply for a new trademark, it’s important to search the USPTO’s online database. You’ll want to look for similar trademarks in the same trademark class.
Of course, what constitutes “similar” is subjective.
This difficulty is compounded by the fact that the USPTO does not advise trademark holders before they apply.
For this reason, most people choose to consult a trademark lawyer before submitting their application.
An attorney with a practice in the field will be able to conduct a trademark search and evaluate the results of that search to tell you whether or not your trademark is too similar to one that already exists.
How Can I Maintain my Trademark?
Once your trademark has been registered with the USPTO, you’ll need to maintain it. This means defending it against infringement in court.
You’ll also need to submit regular records of your trademark’s use to the USPTO. Failing to do either of these things could mean losing formal registration of your trademark.
Again, this is a place where a good trademark lawyer can help.
In addition to fighting infringement, your trademark protects you from various unfair trading practices. These include attempts to counterfeit or knock-off your branding, as well as unauthorized reselling of your goods.
Essentially, any act intended to capitalize on customer confusion could be an unfair trading practice.
As with infringement, you need to answer these acts through cease and desist orders or other legal action.
Of course, not all unauthorized uses of your brand are unfair trading practices. Certain uses are “Fair Use,” which means that they are protected by law. These include parody, commentary, and nominal use.
Note that nominal use includes comparative use—basically, comparing your brand to another by name. In all of these cases, you won’t get anywhere by taking legal action.
When applying for a class 37 trademark, it’s important to understand every step of the process. In many cases, this is a matter of choosing the right legal counsel.
A skilled trademark lawyer can help you with both applying for and maintaining your trademark. By doing so you’ll ensure a lasting, memorable brand identity for your business.