TMEP 1902.02(g)(ii): United States Classes A, B, and 200

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1902.02(g)(ii)    United States Classes A, B, and 200

Classes A, B, and 200 are classes from the old United States classification system that are still used in the United States to classify certification marks for goods (Class A), certification marks for services (Class B), and collective membership marks (Class 200). These classes are not included in the international classes under the Nice Agreement. Therefore, an international application based on a U.S. application or registration in U.S. Classes A, B, or 200 should be reclassified based on the nature of the goods or services being certified or the area of activity of the members of the collective. If the applicant does not reclassify its goods or services into the proper international class, the IB will issue a notice of irregularity.

Amendment of the classification in the corresponding basic U.S. application and/or registration is not permitted.

United States Classes A and B

It has been the longstanding practice in the United States to accept identifications of goods or services for Classes A, B, and 200 that are broader than those that would be accepted in applications for goods/services in other classes. See TMEP §§1304.02(c) and 1306.02(c). In many situations, it will be difficult to reclassify these broad identifications into appropriate international classes. For example, a goods certification mark in U.S. Class A for “remanufactured, refurbished and reconditioned electrical equipment” could include goods in International Classes 7, 9, and/or 11, and possibly others. In such situations, the U.S. applicant should specify the type of electrical equipment that is being certified, and either apply and pay the fees for all appropriate classes, or limit the specification of “electric equipment” to cover goods in one class only.

In some certification mark applications/registrations, the goods/services will be easily classified in one class of the international classification system. For example, a services certification mark for “testing laboratory and calibration laboratory accreditation services” would be classified in International Class 42. However, it is important to be aware that multiple classes may be required when reclassifying goods/services from U.S. Classes A and B.

United States Class 200

Class 200 presents a similar problem and a similar solution. A broad identification of the subject organization in a collective membership mark application or registration is difficult to reclassify. For example, the wording “indicating membership in a conservative youth organization” is too broad and vague for classification in an international class. On the other hand, “indicating membership in an organization of consulting communications engineers” is easily classified in International Class 42. As with the certification marks, an applicant may have to clarify, specify, or narrow the description of the organization in the international application in order to classify the organization in an international class.