The United States trademark office groups all trademarks into “buckets” that they call classes or classifications. All classes are identified by a number which is determined by the trademark office in accordance with international treaties. With most of our clients, we use
signing something saying, “How do I get out of this?” At that point it is usually too late.(i) class 9 which includes, among other things, software; and (ii) class 42 which is used to classify, among other things, web services.
Once the class(es) are identified, a description of the goods and/or services that a trademark represents is drafted. This is why when we are filing trademark applications, we ask for a 2-3 sentence description of what your mark stands for. Using what is provided a description for what your mark represents is created.
After we have identified class(es) and goods/services description(s), we must receive proof of use. This proof of use is referred to as a specimen. A specimen must show use of the mark for each class that is filed. For instance, a valid specimen in class 9 shows the mark actually being used on the software. Just talking about the functionality of the software on a website will not work for class 9. A valid specimen in class 42 is
something that describes the services that are being provide, such as a website or a marketing slick.
The first use date is tied to which class(es) are filed. This is the reason we cannot use the date of formation of a company. The first use date has to be the date on which you started using the mark in commerce *and* in the class or classes that you file in.