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. Let’s take a closer look at a group of these trademark classes – classes 29, 30 & 31.
What are International Classes 29, 30 & 31 All About?
These 3 classes represent the food classifications for trademarks. Class 29 is meats & processed foods and has 699 possible descriptions; class 30 is staple foods & has 900 possible descriptions; class 31 is natural agricultural products and has 345 possible descriptions.
Meats, poultry, seafood, game are, of course, going to be in IC 29. Also within that class are things like oils, frozen foods composed primarily of meat or fish, canned meats, fruits & vegetables. Nearly anything you’d find at the butcher or in most of the food aisles is going to be in IC 29.
IC 30 are for goods you find in your baking aisle and also includes things like coffee, tea, flavorings, noodles, breads, etc.
Most anything you find in the produce section is going to be in IC 31. Also included are things like fresh flowers and things that are alive be they animals or Christmas trees.
How do I file in International Classes 29, 30 or 31?
Filing in any of the food classes has the same process as any other name. First, comprehensive research is needed to ensure that the name is legally available. That research should entail looking at the ENTIRE of the food and beverage industry.
There can be some crossover when it comes to the same or similar name within the entirety of the industry but each situation is different. Let’s look at a couple of examples:
1) In 1972, Bluebird was filed for ham & pork in IC 29
2) Fast forward 20+ years when the USPTO was a lot stricter and you’ll find that Bluebird was able to be registered for snack cakes in IC 30.
This does NOT mean that same or similar names can be trademarked all over the food & beverage industry. Again, like with anything trademark related, it’s taken on a case by case basis.
For example, Jack Daniel’s has attempted to oppose numerous filings food products using either the name Jack or Daniel. Sometimes they succeed as they did with Whiskey Jack and sometimes they don’t such as with Doc Jack’s.
As you can see, filing a name or logo within the food and beverage industry can be complex so be sure to get the proper help first.