Thursday, July 16, 2009

Trademark International Class: Class 16 (Paper goods and printed matter)

All goods or services are categorized within International Classes (IC hereafter). Goods run from classes IC 1-34, while Services are in IC 35-45. Please see a complete chart here. Let's take a closer look at one of these trademark classes – class 16.

What is International Class 16 All About?

Each class has a short title heading that gives a snapshot of what that class is all about -- IC 16's short title is paper goods and printed matter. But, as with anything trademark, there's more to it than that. The USPTO has 1515 accepted descriptions that fit into IC 16; check them out

Anything that's made of paper or is printed is in IC 16, which includes things like posters, journals, greeting cards, art prints, magazines, books, calendars and on and on.

What about Book Titles?

This is an area worth exploring a bit. Titles of a single creative work are not protected by trademark law; however, trademark registration may be possible if the title is used on a series of creative works. Let's delve into this a bit further.

Single creative works consist of materials where the content does not change, such as a book, a DVD, downloadable songs and a film. Single creative works do not include periodically issued publications, such as magazines, newsletters, brochures, comic books, comic strips or printed classroom materials, because the content of these works change with each issue.

When it comes to titles for a book series, the rationale is the same. While the title stays the same, the content changes. Take a look at the filing for
Ring of Fates, part of The Final Fantasy catalog: "a series of books featuring fictional stories and/or fantasy stories."

What Else is in International Class 16?

Seems like with any of these trademark classes, there always seems to be the oddball item or two and IC 16 is no exception. Here are a few items living in IC 16 that seem to be a bit off kilter:

• cd shredders for home or office use

• globes

• cosmetic pencil sharpeners and removing paper

• money clips

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Sylvie Paquette said...

Hello Shannon, I have a question for you that you may have already answered in previous posts, and in which case I apologise! What are the rules pertaining to using a registered trademark in a book title? For example, in "The Starbucks Experience" Joseph A. Michelli uses both the Starbucks name and logo on his title page. Did he need permission from Starbucks to do that? Thank you for your help! Sylvie

Shannon Moore said...

Hi Sylvie!

Thank you for taking the time to read the blog & make a comment -- I really appreciate that!

Each situation is going to vary so if this is a question you're wondering about for your own book, I suggest running it by an intellectual property attorney. How you're using it, what the book is about and who the trademark owner are all issues that come into play.

Many times this can fall under nominative advertising:

"Nominative use is a term a defense to trademark infringement in the United States, by which a person may use the trademark of another as a reference to describe the other product, or to compare it to their own."

Check this link: for further info

Hope that helps! Thanks again!