Monday, June 09, 2008

Breaking Down the Code

Last month we took a quick look at how to conduct a logo search at the USPTO. This month let's look closer at the USPTO Design Code Manual.

All designs have a 6-digit code, which the USPTO assigns to each filed design. The design search code system is very Dewey Decimal-esque in that each 2-digit section denotes a specific category. Let's take a look at a couple of famous examples:

First two digits, the Category: 02 = human beings

Next two digits, the Division: 05 = children

Last two digits, the Section: 01 = heads, portraiture, busts of children not in profile

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The Gerber baby logo is categorized as 02.05.01

Now let's look at a design that contains several codes. This will illustrate just how complex filing a trademark for a logo can be, in terms of researching a logo and providing the correct description on the application to the USPTO.

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Mr. Peanut, the logo and mascot of Planters Nuts is categorized into SEVEN different design codes:

02.01.32 - Astronauts (men); Frogmen; Men, other, including frogmen, men wearing space suits and men wearing monocles; Monocles (men wearing)
02.01.34 - Monsters (not robots); Other grotesque including men formed by plants or objects
04.07.02 - Objects forming a person; Person formed by objects
05.07.05 - Nuts (edible), With shells
09.05.02 - Top hats
10.03.02 - Canes, walking; Shepherds crook (staff); Walking sticks and canes
16.03.08 - Contact lenses; Lenses, optical, and spectacle; Monocles

So you can see even a seemingly simple design, a peanut figure wearing a top hat, cane and monocle has a very complex design labeling assigned to it.

Please see here for further details about our Federal Design Trademark search services.

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