What Goods or Services Are Included in Trademark Class 21?


Trademark Class 21

Trademark Class 21 is the International Class appropriate for household and kitchen utensils and containers—among other things.

What are those Trademark Class 21 products specifically, however? And what exactly is an “International Class?”

This Article will discuss Trademark Class 21 in detail, as well as the Trademark Class system generally. Following that discussion, we will also discuss possible issues with a trademark registration application filed in Class 21.

The Article will then conclude with a discussion of how your Class 21 trademark registration application will be more likely to succeed if filed by an experienced Michigan trademark attorney.

What Is the Trademark International Class System?

The International Class system categorizes the goods and services for trademark registration purposes. It is a worldwide system (thus “International”), known to some as the Nice Classification. Not because it’s “nice,” necessarily, but because the treaty that created it is the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks.” (Whew!)

Under this treaty, signatory states must indicate the International Classes used in each trademark registration. Trademark Class 21 is one such Class.

It is not alone. The trademark International Classification system creates, in fact, a total of 45 different trademark Classes. The first 34 are categories of products or goods. The remaining 11 International Classes are for services.

For example, we filed our own trademark registration application in Class 45. This is the Class for “personal services,” including trademark registration legal services.

Trademark Class 21, therefore, is an International Class for products. For goods. Not for the service of creating those products. For instance, glassblowing or ceramic pottery manufacturing services would not fall under Trademark Class 21. Trademark Class 40 is better.  This is the Class for treatment of materials services.

The International Class system properly identifies the goods or services in trademark applications. The system helps the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ensure that consumers will not be confused by similar trademarks filed for related goods or services.

When your Michigan trademark attorney files a registration application for you with the USPTO, he or she will specify which of the 45 trademark classes you are claiming use in.

The USPTO, in fact, charges its trademark registration application filing fee based on the number of classes claimed. There more classes you claim in addition to Trademark Class 21, the more expensive your filing will be.

Trademark Class 21 Goods

International Trademark Class 21 includes goods and services related to household and kitchen utensils and containers. It also includes combs and sponges; brushes (except paint brushes); brush-making materials; articles for cleaning purposes; steel wool; unworked or semi-worked glass (except glass used in building); glassware, porcelain and earthenware.

Specifically, Trademark Class 21 will be the appropriate class to file your registration application for if you are selling:

  • Household utensils and containers for household or kitchen use, such as bowls, pots, pans, cups, glasses, cutlery, kitchen tongs, serving trays, and mixing bowls;
  • Combs, brushes, and sponges for personal grooming, such as hair brushes, toothbrushes, and bath sponges;
  • Articles for cleaning, such as cleaning cloths, scrubbing brushes, and cleaning glove;
  • Unworked or semi-worked glass for use in the manufacture of glassware or other products, such as glass rods, tubes, and blanks;
  • Glassware, porcelain, and earthenware for household use, such as dishes, vases, and figurines.

Thus, if you are a glassblower, potter, ceramics maker, or an artisan of various sorts, Trademark Class 21 may be an International Class that is appropriate for your goods.

Examples of Well-Known Trademark Registrations filed in Trademark Class 21

Some examples of well-known trademark registrations filed in International Trademark Class 21 include:

  • “OXO” for kitchen utensils and containers such as peelers, tongs, and measuring cups;
  • “DYSON” for cleaning products such as vacuum cleaners and hand dryers;
  • “RUBBERMAID” for household containers such as storage containers and waste baskets;
  • “PYREX” for glassware such as bakeware and measuring cups;
  • “BRITA” for water filtration systems and water filter cartridges;
  • “OXFORD” for combs and brushes, including hair brushes and toothbrushes;
  • “SCOTCH-BRITE” for scrubbing pads and cleaning cloths.

Should Craft Brewers Register Trademarks in Class 21?

This is a question worth asking even in a more generalized Trademark Class 21 article such as this. Craft brewers make beer.

This is true. However, craft brewers also sell t-shirts. And stickers. And, yes, mugs, steins, growlers, and other glassware.

Thus, if a craft brewer sells goods such as beer glasses, growlers, or other beer-related products, they may choose to file a trademark application in Class 21. However, if a craft brewer produces and sells only beer, it would typically file its trademark application in Class 32. This is the International Class that covers beverages, including beers.

However, it is important to remember that a trademark is a “mark” (a name, logo, slogan, or other identifying character) used to identify the source of a product or service sold to consumers. That is, it is not simply decorative. The craft brewer’s brand is what is registered as a trademark, whether a name or logo.

Craft brewers or other trademark applicants in filing in Trademark Class 21 may face what is called an “ornamentation” refusal if the logo or other mark is not acting as a trademark. If it is just decoration on the mug, but the mug has been manufactured and sold by the Acme Mug Company, Acme is the brand. Not the craft brewer’s logo on the front of it.

The craft brewer’s logo is mere ornamentation.

A trademark is considered to be merely ornamental if it is used to purely decorate a product and does not serve to identify the source of the product or distinguish it from those of others, in other words.

How Trademark Class 21 Applicants Can Avoid An Ornamentation Refusal

The danger of an ornamentation refusal is high for Class 21 trademark registration applicants. Glassware, ceramics, and other such products are easy to monogram, imprint, and stamp with decorative insignia. Indeed, for many household decorative items, this is the very point of the thing.

Such decoration can include the logo used by the retail store (or brewery) selling the product. But that logo doesn’t necessarily identify the source of the glass or ceramic product itself.

When it does not, the USPTO Examiner assigned to your file will file an Ornamentation Refusal, or Office Action.

To avoid an ornamentation refusal, trademark applicants in Class 21 must show that the trademark is used as a source identifier. The “Specimen” attached to the trademark registration application proving Use in Commerce, a basic registration requirement, should feature the mark-bearing tag and not simply the imprint on the product itself.

This is often easier said than done. It may be the case that, until you speak with an experienced trademark attorney, you won’t realize that you’ve been using your name or logo decoratively only on your Class 21 product all along.

It is therefore important for trademark applicants in Class 21 to consult with a Michigan trademark attorney to ensure that their trademark application is properly prepared. The easiest trademark registration refusal to overcome is the one that is never filed in the first place.

Consult a Michigan Trademark Attorney for Class 21 Trademark Registration

A good trademark attorney will assist with trademark registration applications in Class 21 in several ways:

  • Conduct a comprehensive trademark search: A trademark attorney can conduct a comprehensive clearance search of existing trademarks to ensure that the proposed trademark is available for use and registration. This helps to avoid infringement issues and rejections based on prior registrations.
  • Advise as to International Class selection: A trademark attorney can help determine the appropriate class or classes in which to file the trademark application. This includes ensuring that the goods and services described in the application accurately reflect the goods and services the applicant offers or intends to offer in the future.
  • Draft the trademark application: A trademark attorney can draft a comprehensive and effective trademark application that provides a clear and accurate description of the goods and services covered by the trademark and the relevant class or classes.
  • Respond to Office Actions: If the trademark office issues an Office Action, a trademark attorney can help the applicant respond. Only a licensed US attorney can represent you before the USPTO to defend your Class 21 application.
  • Provide guidance on use of the trademark: A trademark attorney can provide guidance on how to properly use the trademark to maintain its strength and enforceability and avoid abandonment of the trademark.
  • Represent the applicant in disputes: In the event of a dispute or infringement, a trademark attorney can represent the trademark owner and provide legal representation in court.

By working with a good Michigan trademark attorney, you increase your chances for a successful trademark registration.

Noble Path Trademark Law is a boutique US law practice located in Metro Detroit and assisting craft brewers, vintners, distillers, and others in all industries with trademark registration, trademark renewal, and Office Action refusal response matters.

We offer virtual consultations, premium customer service, and the expertise you need to maximize your odds of trademark registration success.

Click the “Register Your Trademark” button below to schedule your initial consultation and to begin your brand protection journey.