TMEP 1306.02(d): Classification

October 2017 Edition of the TMEP

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1306.02(d)    Classification

Section 1 and §44 Applications

In applications to register certification marks, all goods are classified in U.S. Class A and all services are classified in U.S. Class B. 37 C.F.R. §6.3. Both U.S. Classes A and B (but not any other classes) may be included in one application. See TMEP §§1403–1403.07 regarding multiple-class applications.

NOTE: When the Trademark Act of 1946 went into effect, the goods and services for which certification marks were registered were classified in the regular numbered international classes for goods and services. It was later concluded that this was not reasonable, because a certification mark is commonly used on a great variety of goods and services, and the specialized purpose of these marks makes it unrealistic to divide the goods and services into the competitive groups that the regular classes represent. The change to classification in U.S. Classes A and B for certification marks was made by amendment to the Trademark Rules on August 15, 1955.

Section 66(a) Applications

In a §66(a) application, classification is determined by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization ("IB"), in accordance with the Nice Agreement. Classes A and B come from the old United States classification system ( see TMEP §1401.02) and are not included in the international classification system. In a §66(a) application, the international classification of goods/services may not be changed from the classification assigned to the goods/services by the IB. See TMEP §§1401.03(d), 1904.02(b). Accordingly, if the mark in a §66(a) application is identified as a certification mark, or appears to be a certification mark, the USPTO will not reclassify it into U.S. Class A or B. However, the examining attorney must ensure that the applicant complies with all other U.S. requirements for certification marks, regardless of the classification assigned by the IB.