Many of our clients request we file an intent to use (ITU) trademark application for clothing which requires a list of items to be covered. Most clothing items are in International Class 025 (IC 025). As long as you have a “good faith” or “bona fide” intent to brand these clothing items in the future, you can include them in your ITU application.
From “Intent” to actual “Use”
At some point you have to convert your ITU application into a “use” application which means proving you are using the trademark in commerce for the items you listed. This is done by filing an amendment to allege use (AAU) prior to publication for opposition or a statement of use (SOU) if submitted after publication. The SOU is far more common and gives you more time to get your apparel business going. For details and examples of how to properly brand your clothing and apparel see our post on the subject.
You can redact but not add
You can always redact items you never got around to but you can never “add” new items from your original filing. Therefore, it makes good sense to list the items you would brand in the future so you have them covered in a single trademark filing. This saves quite a bit of money if you think ahead.
The Trademark Classification System
There are forty-five (45) international classes that categorize goods and services. The system stems from a 1950s treaty in Nice, Italy. The vast majority of items considered apparel or clothing are in Class 025. However, if you intend to cloth your pet, it will be in Class 018, not 025.
If you need a list of common apparel types for your ITU application, here are some from the USPTO Trademark ID Manual:
- arm warmers
- finger-less gloves
- folk costumes
- head wraps
- infant sleepers
- knee warmers
- neck tubes
- shoulder wraps
- yoga apparel
In conclusion, make sure you only list what you have a good-faith intention to sell. The SOU deadline on an ITU case can be extended up to four (4) years from your initial filing date. That means you have already secured national, federal rights to the trademark and also have four years to build up a wide range of clothing products. This can be done before you lock in what your federal registration will cover.