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video games

What Trademark Class is a Video Game?

By John DiGiacomo

The basic Trademark Class for a video game depends on the type of video game. Generally speaking, most often, computer-based video games involving software are listed in Class 009 and more traditional video game machines are most often registered in Class 028. There are other Classes that can be used in relation to video games. These include Classes 041 and 042 which are often listed if there are video-game-related services being trademarked and Class 016 for books and literature featuring video game characters. As can be seen, trademarking can be complex. So, if you are seeking to trademark a video game, you need the legal help and guidance of a proven and experienced trademark attorney. Call Revision Legal at 231-714-0100 or 855-473-8474. Here are a few things you should know if you are seeking to trademark a video game.

What am I trademarking?

Trademarks are symbols, designs, logos, words, or phrases that identify your company/business as the commercial source for the product (in our case, your video game). So, you are trademarking the video game name, a logo, a design, or something similar.

What am I NOT trademarking?

You are NOT trademarking aspects of your video game like artwork, music, characters, story, and things of that sort. Those are given legal protection through copyright law. Trademarks are about selling goods and services. Artistic aspects of your video game are embedded in what you are selling — which is a video game.

What is a Trademark Class and why do I need one?

Once you have created and developed your trademark, the trademark should be registered with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (“USPTO”). There is a part of the USPTO application for registration that requires the applicant to list the Trademark Class with which the trademark will be associated. For example, if you are selling soap, you must identify the Trademark Class for the soap you wish to sell and on which your trademark will be placed. There are 45 general Classes. In brief, then, you need to identify a general Trademark Class because, without one (or more), the USPTO will reject your application to register a trademark or — and this is important — if not rejected, your registered trademark will not protect what you are actually selling.

What about subclasses?

More complicated than choosing the main Trademark Class is choosing the Trademark Subclass (or classes). To continue the soap example, the USPTO provides subclass designations for all the different types of soap like hand soap, liquid soap, laundry detergent, soap for pets, etc.

With respect to video games, here are just four examples of Trademark Subclasses directly related to software-driven video games (within the main Class 009):

  • 009-5969 — Recorded real-time strategy (RTS) video game software         
  • 009-5966 — Downloadable player versus player (PvP) video game software 1
  • 009-5967 — Downloadable real-time strategy (RTS) video game software
  • 009-3074 — Downloadable computer software, namely, game engine software for video game development and operation

Contact Video Game Trademark Attorneys at Revision Legal For more information, contact the trusted Video Game Trademarking Lawyers at Revision Legal. You can contact us through the form on this page or call (855) 473-8474.

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