TMEP 1401.05(a): Identification and Classification of Kits, Gift Baskets, and Items Sold as a Unit

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1401.05(a)    Identification and Classification of Kits, Gift Baskets, and Items Sold as a Unit

The USPTO permits registration of a kit or gift basket in a single international class, even if the identification of goods lists items that are classified in other classes. Generally, kits are identified and classified in two ways. If the kit is for the purpose of making a single object, it would be classified by the item it is intended to make (e.g., kits for making bird feeders would be classified in Class 21, even though the individual components would be classified in other classes). If the applicant is willing to call its kit a "hobby craft kit" and indicate its purpose (e.g., hobby craft kit for making pot holders), the item can be classified in Class 28 as a kind of toy or amusement product. In addition, although certain types of kits are deemed acceptable for identification and classification purposes without listing the individual components (e.g., face painting kits and teeth whitening kits in Class 3, and first aid kits and ovulation test kits in Class 5), in general, the identification must indicate the type of kit and the principal components.

If the kit is a combination of a number of items around a theme (e.g., nail care kits and student "survival" kits), the class that includes the majority of individual items in the kit controls the classification for the entire kit. Thus, a nail care kit comprising primarily nail polish, nail polish remover, and false nails is classified in Class 3 even if it also includes nail files (Class 8) and an instruction manual (Class 16). In such cases, the identification must indicate the type of kit and list the components, with the items in the predominant class listed first. If the components of the kit do not appear to have a predominant class (e.g., the kit contains two or three items, each in a different class), the applicant may elect which class(es) the kit should be in, but the identification must still list the goods that control the class first in the list of components. A few specific types of kits are listed in the ID Manual; other kits are classified on a case-by-case basis.

The same criteria are applied to the classification of gift baskets.  

Similarly, a product may comprise items that are sold as a unit and that, if sold separately, would be classified in different classes. The identification in such cases should include wording to indicate that the goods are “sold as a unit.” The predominant elements should be listed first and the item will be classified accordingly.

Example - Computer software is classified in Class 9. Instructional manuals are classified in Class 16. The item “Computer software for investment management and instructional manuals related thereto, sold as a unit” would be classified in Class 9. “Instructional manuals in the field of investment management and computer software relating thereto, sold as a unit” would be classified in Class 16.