Part of registering a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is figuring out what trademark class your good or service falls under.
Classes 1-34 are all goods related classes, while classes 35-45 are service related.
In this article, we’ll cover Trademark Class 9, which generally covers all forms of computer, electric, and scientific apparatus, from printers to various types of software, video, and audio goods.
Corrective eyewear such as sunglasses or corrective lenses also falls into this category.
What is a Trademark?
A trademark is a logo, image, phrases, slogan, design, etc. that establishes you and your company as the source for your good or service.
It’s how you set apart your brand and product from competitors.
A trademark registered with the USPTO also comes with legal protection in case another company infringes on your trademark rights.
Your application with the USPTO will ask you to determine what class your good or service falls under.
Sometimes a good or service will fall under more than one class and need more than one filing.
When you register a trademark, you gain legal protections against other parties in the same class.
So, if you register a trademark in Class 9, someone in Class 1 (chemical goods) might have a similar mark, but no other brand that sells electric or scientific goods will be able to use the mark.
What is a Class 9 Trademark?
Class 9 is an incredibly broad trademark class which includes a lot of different equipment for electrical, scientific, and other purposes.
Because the list of goods protected under this class is so broad, it’s important to contact an attorney who can help you assess where your product falls.
Electrical and Scientific Apparatus
You might be wondering what electrical and scientific apparatuses are. Or, more to the point, what products qualify as an “apparatus” according to the USPTO.
Essentially, an apparatus is any piece of technical or mechanical equipment created for a particular purpose.
Under this definition, any good that serves a technical or mechanical purpose would loosely fall under this category. However, the USPTO also lists a wide variety of specific goods which this class applies to.
We’ll list some examples of these goods below.null
Like equipment for audio transmission, the Class 9 trademark category also includes equipment for video transmission.
- DVD players
- Digital photo frames
- Cinematic cameras and editing appliances
Apparatuses which help with the transmission and playback of audio also fall under Class 9, including things such as:
- Answering machines
- Audio receivers
- Cassette players
- Record players
- Car radios
- Recording equipment
In addition to video goods, photographic equipment also falls under Class 9. Examples include:
- Apparatuses for the development of film and photography
- Lens equipment
Communications and Broadcasting Equipment
“Communications and broadcasting” encompass all forms of media, audio, and video. Examples of communications and broadcasting equipment that are included in class 9 are:
- Acoustic conduits and couplers
- Transmitters for telecommunication and electronic signals
- Sound transmitting apparatus and speaking tubes
- Scientific satellites
In addition to items concerning media, visual aids and eye-wear also fall under class 9. Examples include:
- Contact lenses
- Lenses for eyeglasses and spectacles
- Eyeglass frames, chains and cords
- Protective eye-wear for sports and anti-glare
A lot of the electric apparatuses that could be included under a class 9 trademark are related to computers.
Some of the computer products that fall under class 9 include:
- Computer keyboards
- Disk drives
- Compact disks
- USB flash drives
- Computer software (including games)
- Computer firmware
- Operating Systems
- Computers, laptops, and notebooks
Many different pieces of apparatus used for replication also fall under Class 9, such as:
- Photocopiers and scanners
- Printers and computer printers
Computers are not the only electric apparatuses Class 9 covers. It also covers a variety of other pieces of electrical equipment.
Some examples include:
- Electrical circuits and circuit boards
- Copper, insulated, and magnetic wires
- Sheaths and sleeves for electric wires
- Starter cables for motors
- Circuit closers
- Anodes, cathodes, and anticathodes
- Sockets and plugs
Navigation tools such as GPS devices, nautical devices, and compasses also fall under the category of electric and scientific apparatus.
Any number of devices used to take measurements also fall under Class 9.
Broadly speaking, this is where the “scientific apparatus” part of the class comes into play. Devices for calibration, time, speed, distance, and temperature measurement are all covered.
A few examples include parking meters, speech indicators, thermometers, and pedometers, while other equipment you’d find in a laboratory can also be found in this class.
Items Not Included in Class 9
Although you are probably thinking pretty much anything having to do with scientific apparatus must fall under electric and scientific apparatuses, the World Intellectual Property Organization lists some specific examples of goods that are not in this class:
- Electromechanical kitchen equipment including grinders and mixers for food, fruit presses, electrical coffee mills, and certain other apparatus and instruments driven by an electrical motor (Class 7)
- Electric razors, clippers, and flat irons (Class 8)
- Electric apparatus for space heating or heating foods, liquids, etc. (Class 11)
- Electric toothbrushes and combs (Class 21).
Class 9 is a very complicated and extensive trademark class. The examples above are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the technical equipment included in Class 9.
Because Class 9 includes so many devices and instruments, consider hiring an attorney to help you figure out if your good really belongs in this class, or if it fits under this class in addition to another.