The 4th of July is a time to celebrate the independence and freedom of the United States with family, friends, and fireworks. Whether you enjoy watching the dazzling displays in the sky or lighting up your own sparklers and rockets, fireworks are an essential part of the festivities.
But did you know that fireworks are also a type of product that can be trademarked? If you own a business that sells or manufactures fireworks, you may want to protect your brand name, logo, slogan, or design from being copied or confused with others in the market. Trademarks are a form of intellectual property that identify the source and quality of goods or services and distinguish them from those of others.
In this blog, we will explain how to trademark your fireworks business under Class 13 of the international classification system for trademarks, which covers firearms, ammunition, projectiles, explosives, and fireworks. We will also discuss what cannot be trademarked about fireworks and some tips to avoid common pitfalls.
What is Class 13 and why does it matter?
Class 13 is one of 45 classes that categorize goods and services when applying for trademark registration. Each class represents a distinct group of products or activities that are similar or related to each other. For example, Class 1 includes chemicals, Class 25 includes clothing, and Class 41 includes education and entertainment services.
Classifying your goods or services correctly is important because it determines the scope and protection of your trademark. You can only claim exclusive rights to use your trademark for the goods or services that you specify in your application. If you want to use your trademark for other goods or services, you may need to file additional applications or pay extra fees.
Class 13 includes all products that fall under the following general description:
Firearms; ammunition and projectiles; explosives; fireworks.
This means that if you sell or manufacture any of these products, you should apply for trademark registration under Class 13.
However, not all products that are related to firearms or explosives are classified under Class 13. For instance, matches are classified under Class 34 (tobacco products), toy pistols are classified under Class 28 (games and toys), and fire extinguishers are classified under Class 9 (scientific instruments).
To find out which class your product belongs to, you can use a variety of online tools that further break down the international classification system for trademarks. You can also consult a trademark attorney for professional advice.
What can you trademark about fireworks?
As a general rule, you can trademark any word, symbol, or design that identifies your fireworks business and distinguishes it from others in the market. For example, you can trademark:
Your brand name or trade name (e.g., Phantom Fireworks, TNT Fireworks, Fireworks by Grucci)
Your logo or emblem (e.g., a stylized image of a firework, a star, or a flag)
Your slogan or tagline (e.g., “The ultimate in pyrotechnics”, “Light up the night”, “The best bang for your buck”)
Your product name or model name (e.g., Rocket Launcher 5000, Sparkler Supreme, The Big Bang)
However, there are some limitations and requirements that you need to consider before applying for trademark registration, such as:
Generic terms that describe the product itself (e.g., “fireworks”, “rockets”, “sparklers”)
Descriptive terms that describe the characteristics or qualities of the product (e.g., “colorful”, “loud”, “safe”)
Misleading terms that suggest a false origin or affiliation of the product (e.g., “Made in USA”, “Official Sponsor”)
Confusing terms that are similar or identical to existing trademarks in the same class or related classes (e.g., “Phantom Firecrackers”, “TNT Explosives”, “Fireworks by Grucci”)
To avoid these issues, you should conduct a thorough search of existing trademarks before filing your application. You can use the online database provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which is the federal agency responsible for registering trademarks in the U.S. You can also hire a trademark attorney or agent to conduct a comprehensive search and analysis for you.
What cannot be trademarked about fireworks?
While you can trademark many aspects of your fireworks brand, there are also some things that cannot be trademarked because they are simply not capable of functioning as source identifiers. These include:
The firework designs once a firework is launched into the sky. These are considered to be temporary and ephemeral, and not indicative of the origin or quality of the product. For example, you cannot trademark a firework that creates a star shape, a smiley face, or the letters “USA” in the sky.
The sounds or noises that fireworks make. These are considered to be generic and common, and not distinctive or memorable. For example, you cannot trademark a firework that makes a “boom”, a “crackle”, or a “whistle” sound.
The colors or color combinations of fireworks. These are considered to be functional and utilitarian, and not ornamental or decorative. For example, you cannot trademark a firework that has red, white, and blue colors, or a firework that changes colors.
These features of fireworks are not eligible for trademark protection because they do not serve to identify the source of the goods or services, but rather to enhance their performance or appeal. They are also likely to be used by many competitors in the same industry, and granting exclusive rights to one party would be unfair or anti-competitive.
How to apply for trademark registration under Class 13?
If you have decided to trademark your fireworks business under Class 13, you need to follow these steps:
Start by conducting a comprehensive search to ensure no one already has your name or a name too similar to yours for related goods or services
Next, prepare and file your trademark application (along with paying the required government filing fees).
Lastly, wait for the examination and publication process. After you file your application, it will be assigned to an examining attorney at the USPTO, who will review it for compliance with the trademark laws and rules. The examining attorney may issue an office action, which is a letter that raises any objections or requirements for your application. Please note that you will have three months to respond to the office action, or your application will be abandoned. Assuming no issues and you filed as in use, your trademark will be approved for registration.
Trademarking your fireworks company under Class 13 can be a smart way to protect your brand name, logo, slogan, or design from being copied or confused with others in the market. It can also help you build trust and loyalty with your customers and stand out from your competitors.
However, trademarking your fireworks business under Class 13 also involves some challenges and responsibilities. You need to choose a distinctive and non-confusing trademark that does not infringe on existing trademarks in the same class or related classes. You also need to file a proper application with the USPTO and respond to any office actions or oppositions that may arise during the examination and publication process. Finally, you need to pay the required fees and maintain your registration by using your trademark continuously and correctly.
If you need help with trademarking your fireworks brand under Class 13 or anything else, you can consult contact us for a free consultation.
We hope this blog has been helpful and informative for you. Happy 4th of July! 🎆