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USPTO Design Search Code Manual

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01 Celestial bodies, natural phenomena, geographical maps
This category includes objects that appear in the sky, including clouds, stars, moons, sun, planets and constellation. Additionally, designs associated with weather conditions such as rainbows, lightning, and snowflakes are found here. Maps of countries and continents are also in 01.
02 Human beings
This category includes representations of men, women and children regardless of the activity they are engaged in or how they are dressed. Stylized humans, those in caricature form, stick figures and parts of the human body are also in this category.
03 Animals
This category includes most animals, except mythological animals. Animals found here include mammals, birds, kiwi, kiwi bird, fish, reptiles and insects. Prehistoric animals, stylized animals and animals with human attributes are also coded in category 03.
04 Supernatural beings, mythological or legendary beings, fantastical beings or unidentifiable beings
This category includes beings such as devils, angels, leprechauns, witches, and super heroes. Designs that are part human and part animal and mythological animals such as unicorns and Pegasus are in this category. Plants, objects or geometrical figures that represent humans or animals are also in category 04.
05 Plants
This category includes almost every type of plant such as flowers, trees, leaves, vegetables, and fruits. Also, decorations made from plants are in this category.
06 Scenery
This category includes mountains, lakes, waterfalls, beaches, forests and islands. Also, desert scenery and urban scenery such as skylines and street scenes fall within category 06.
07 Dwellings, buildings, monuments, stadiums, fountains, structural works and building materials
This category includes almost any structure that is built by man. All dwellings from igloos to skyscrapers are in 07. Interior and exterior portions of buildings along with building materials such as bricks, wood and cinderblocks are in this category.
08 Foodstuff
This category includes goods that are edible such as meat, dairy products, sandwiches, and baked goods. It does not include fruits and vegetables.
09 Textiles, clothing, headwear, footwear and sewing accessories
This category includes all types of clothing items and textile goods such as towels, curtains, sheets and carpeting. Also sewing products such as zippers, patterns, and sewing machines can be found in 09.
10 Tobacco, smokers' materials; fans; toilet articles; medical devices and apparatus including tablets, capsules or powders
This category includes most tobacco products and medical devices as well as products in tablet or capsule form. Grooming aids such as razors, toothbrushes, and make up products are in this category. You will also find non-motorized fans, canes and umbrellas in category 10.
11 Household utensils
This category includes most items that would be found in a household kitchen, including cutlery, cookware, beverage ware and electric or non-electric kitchen appliances. Other household utensils such as irons, brooms and plungers are in category 11.
12 Furniture and plumbing fixtures
This category includes all types of home and office furniture. Plumbing fixtures such as sinks, bathtubs and toilets are found in category 12.
13 Lighting, cooking, heating, cooling or refrigeration equipment
This category includes lighting goods such as torches, candles, table lamps and flashbulbs. Stoves, refrigerators, toasters and air conditioners are also in category 13.
14 Hardware, tools and ladders; non-motorized agricultural implements; keys and locks
This category includes all types of hardware, power tools and hand tools. Cables, wires, valves, hammers, locks, and keys can be found in category 14. Additionally, non-motorized agricultural goods such as pitchforks, plows and rakes are in found here.
15 Machines and parts thereof, including industrial agricultural, home and office machines; electrical equipment
This category includes all types of machines such as generators, conveyor belts, vacuum cleaners and vending machines. Office machinery such as computers, photocopiers, and cash registers can be found in category 15. Wheels and bearings are also in this category.
16 Telecommunications, sound recording or reproduction equipment; photography, cinematography and optics
This category includes goods in the telecommunications and sound recording industries such as antennas, telephones, microphones, tape players, radios and televisions. Goods that are used for cinematography such as cameras and optical equipment, including eyeglasses and telescopes are in category 16.
17 Horological instruments and parts; jewelry; weights and measures
This category includes all goods that measure time and all jewelry items. Additionally, scales such as the Scales of Justice are found here. Other measuring instruments such as rulers, thermometers and Geiger counters are found in category 17.
18 Transport; equipment for animals; traffic signs
This category includes all types of land, water and air vehicles, whether powered by animals, humans or motors. Equipment for animals such as saddles, leashes and horseshoes are found here. Traffic signs including stop signs, road signs and buoys are found in category 18.
19 Baggage, containers and bottles
This category includes goods that are used to hold something such as luggage, barrels, bottles, boxes, coffins and baskets. Receptacles for laboratory use such as beakers and test tubes can be found in category 19.
20 Writing, drawing or painting materials, office materials, stationery and books
This category includes most items found in a stationery store such as pencils, writing paper, labels and postage stamps. Books, magazines and newspapers are also found in category 20.
21 Games, toys and sporting articles
This category includes all types of sporting equipment and toys such as dice, dolls, balls, toy hoops and swings. Merry-go-rounds and amusement park rides are also in category 21.
22 Musical instruments and their accessories; bells; sculptures
This category includes any type of musical instrument such as guitars, bagpipes, whistles and tuning forks. Bells, including sleigh bells and the Liberty bell are found here. Any type of sculpture, whether of humans or animals can be found in category 22.
23 Arms, ammunition and armor
This category includes weapons, firearms, ammunition, and explosives such as fireworks and dynamite. Suits of armor are also found in category 23.
24 Heraldry, flags, crowns, crosses, arrows and symbols
This category includes shields, crests and seals with or without words or figures. Coins, medals and prize ribbons can be found in category 24. Crowns, crosses and arrows have been classified here. Banners and flags, including any American flag, are included in this category. Lastly, symbols such as the dollar symbol, cent symbol, pound sterling symbol, yen symbol, euro symbol, percent symbol, punctuation marks and the universal prohibition symbol are in category 24.
25 Ornamental framework, surfaces or backgrounds with ornaments
This category includes frames for pictures, ornamental borders and backgrounds such as checkerboards and wood graining. Designs consisting of repetitive figures, words and letters are found in category 25.
26 Geometric figures and solids
This category includes geometric designs such as circles, triangles, rectangles, oblongs, polygons, ovals, diamonds, squares, quadrilaterals, lines, angles, chevrons, spheres, cubes, and prisms. It is the largest of all the categories.
27 Forms of writing
This category includes designs that have letters, numbers, or punctuation symbols that are arranged in such a manner as to form a human, animal, plant or object. Conversely, if the design of a plant, human, geometric figure, or object is arranged to form a letter, number or punctuation symbol, they are found in category 27.
28 Inscriptions in various characters
This category includes designs that have non-Latin characters. Inscriptions in Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Hebrew and Greek are in this category.
29 Miscellaneous
This category includes marks that consist solely of color. The codes for color marks are divided by the color, whether a single color or multiple colors are claimed, and whether the color is used over the entire object or only a portion of the object. Category 29 also includes inconspicuous design elements functioning as punctuation or parts of letters.


This manual contains three sections concerning the maintenance and use of the automated design mark database. The sections include: (1) the General Guidelines, (2) the design search code section and (3) an alphabetical index.

1. The General Guidelines provide broad instructions and procedures for coding and interpreting the design search codes.

2. Each design search code is a numerical classification index that codifies design figurative elements into categories, divisions and sections. The design search codes act as the equivalent of a filing system for paper records. Each design element in a specific category is assigned a six-digit number. The first two numbers indicate the category; the second group of two-digit numbers indicates the division; and the third group of two-digit numbers indicates the section.

For example, a five-pointed star would be coded in category 01 (celestial bodies, natural phenomena and geographical maps), division 01 (stars, comets) and section 03 (stars with five points). The complete design code is 01.01.03.

The design code manual also contains explanatory notes and specific guidelines that provide instructions for specific code sections, cross-reference notes which direct users to other code categories, sections and divisions, and notes describing elements that are included or excluded from a code section.

3. The alphabetical index is a list of design elements with their corresponding numeric code. If the specific item you are looking for is not listed, there may be a synonym or related item that will direct you to the appropriate code. For example, if the term flip-flops is not in the index, you should look for the terms sandals or shoes.


The individual coders for design trademarks have been instructed to look at the designs from two aspects. First, the coder should look at the mark as if he were going to search that particular mark. The coder should identify the significant design elements and assign the appropriate codes. Second, the coder should look at the subject mark and think, if I was searching for another mark, what elements in the subject mark would be considered significant. Those elements should be coded. Although the first and second perspective will often coincide, there are many instances where the second perspective will dictate more comprehensive coding.


In conducting a design search, one may focus on an extremely narrow group of similar design marks by using one or more six-digit codes and the field tag for design codes [dc]. One may also look at broader categories or divisions of marks by using either two-digit or four-digit codes.

For example: A search for 030301[dc] would retrieve all documents with a design of an elephant in the mark, even if there are other words or designs in the mark.

Sample trademark with image of an elephant.

This design is retrieved because it has the image of an elephant in the mark.

Design codes can be combined to find documents with more than one design in the mark. For example, a search for a mark with both an elephant (03.03.01) and a blanket (09.01.07) design is entered as 030301[dc] and 090107[dc]. The following design would be retrieved:

Sample trademark with design of both an elephant and a blanket.

This design is retrieved because the mark contains both an elephant and a blanket.

The design codes can also be searched by using the four digit code and a truncation symbol ($). This will result in a broader search. For example, if one wanted to retrieve all images with any type of bird (03.15) and any child (02.05), the search would be entered as 0315$[dc] and 0205$[dc]. The following designs would be retrieved:

Sample trademarks: The design on the left is retrieved because it has an eagle (03.15.01) and a boy (02.05.05). The design on the right has a swan (03.15.06) and a baby (02.05.06).

The first design is retrieved because it has an eagle (03.15.01) and a boy (02.05.05). The second design is retrieved because it has a swan (03.15.06) and a baby (02.05.06).


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