Trademark Classes are when Goods and Services are categorized into different classes. This categorization is while filing Trademark application. Generally, the classification of trademarks that we follow is the Nice Classification.
“The Nice Classification (NCL), established by the Nice Agreement (1957), is an international classification of goods and services applied for the registration of marks. A new edition is published every five years and, since 2013, a new version of each edition is published annually.” – A small citation from WIPO.
Read more about Nice Classification (NCL) here.
There are 45 trademark classes in the Nice classification. And, out of them, classes 1 to 34 categorizes goods and/or products and classes 35 to 45 are for services.
Now, in addition to that, it is necessary to mention the trademark class to which your invention belongs in your trademark application. And, it is also important to choose the right class of trademark while filing the application. That is so because wrong classification of trademark could cause trouble to the trademark registration process and/or decrease the legal protection for the mark.
What is the Importance of Trademark Classes?
The USPTO trademark classification system serves two important functions:
Firstly, it furnishes guidelines to businesses for registering their goods and/or services. Secondly, this system also helps in spotting potential infringers of your trademark.
Also, the USPTO will not register your trademark if it is similar to an existing registered trademark. That is so because it may cause uncertainty as to the source of the goods and/or services. Therefore, for this to happen, it is important for trademarks to be similar as well.
For instance, it is possible for XYZ® soap and XYZ® chocolate to both be registered trademarks since they are not related. That is, it is highly unlikely for anyone to consider the XYZ® soap and XYZ® chocolates come from the same source. Hence, as a result in such situations, both trademarks can exist together because they belong to different trademark classes of goods.
In addition to that, it also becomes easy for the USPTO with trademark classes to identify similar registered goods and/or services that are different and have been registered under relevant classes. And, they also help businesses searching for similar trademarks because they can search in their own class, which in turn, helps them monitor new applications for trademark and recognize any potential infringements.
How to Choose the Right Trademark Class?
Following are some of the steps that can help you choose the right trademark class for your invention:
- Search and Explore the Nice Classification Database
In the Nice Classification database, you can find the list of trademark classes. These trademark classes will help to ascertain which class your invention belongs to.
- Classify your invention either as a product or service
You should, at first, identify if your invention falls under the category of goods or of services. This will help you in choosing right trademark classes for your invention.
- Identify the range of your trademark
You should be well aware of whether the trademark applies to your whole business (company’s logos, for example) or to specific products/services/features for choosing correct trademark classes for your brand.
- Choose a class that describes the final product and not the parts of it
You should choose those trademark classes which accurately describe your final product. For example, if you have a shirt as your product then you should select class 25 which is for clothing and not class 23 which is for threads and yarns.
You can also file for multiple trademark classes in your application if your mark exists under many classes.
Also Read: Trademark 101 – The Complete Guide
What Will Happen If You Select the Wrong Trademark Class?
The USPTO may deny your application for registration if you do not choose appropriate trademark class or trademark classes for your product/service. You may lose hundreds of dollars in application fees since it is non-refundable. And, in addition to that, you may have to wait a few months to modify your application and mention the correct trademark class.
Classification of Trademark Classes
Following is the classification of trademarks according to the category which they fall under:
Trademark Classes for Goods
1. Class 1
Chemicals which are used in industry, photography, forestry, unprocessed artificial resins, tanning and adhesive substances etc.
2. Class 2
Paintings, coals and pigmentation, lacquers, mordant, printing, and art etc.
3. Class 3
Cleaning products, cosmetics, bleach and abrasives, laundry products, essential oils etc.
4. Class 4
Fuels, industrial oil, greases, illuminates, wetting and binding compositions, fuels, wicks etc
5. Class 5
Pharmaceuticals, veterinary products, dietetic, dental wax, disinfectants, herbicides and fungicides etc.
6. Class 6
Metal castings, hardware, locks and safes, common metal and their alloys, building material (metal), other metals are not included in any other class etc.
7. Class 7
Machine and machine parts (except for land vehicles), incubators for eggs etc.
8. Class 8
Implements and hand tools, cutlery and razors etc.
9. Class 9
Cash registers, calculating machines and data processing equipment, teaching apparatus and magnetic data carriers, etc.
10. Class 10
Surgical, medical and dental apparatus, artificial limbs, eyes and teeth etc.
11. Class 11
Apparatus for heating, lighting, steam generating, cooking, refrigerating and dying etc.
12. Class 12
Apparatus for locomotion by land, water, and air.
13. Class 13
Ammunition, firearms, explosives and fireworks also.
14. Class 14
Precious metal and their alloys, products in precious metals and jewellery etc.
15. Class 15
Musical instruments etc.
16. Class 16
Cardboard, paper, and goods made from these materials, print matter, bookbinding, paint brushes, playing cards and printing blocks etc.
17. Class 17
Rubber or gum, asbestos, mica, and goods made from these materials and not included in other classes.
18. Class 18
Leather and imitations of leather, and articles which are made from these items and not included in other classes, animal skins and hides etc.
19. Class 19
Non–metallic rigid pipes for buildings, asphalt, pitch, and bitumen etc.
20. Class 20
Picture frames, mirrors, Furniture of wood, cork, reed and cane are not included in any other category.
21. Class 21
Household and kitchen utensils, brush making material, articles for cleaning purposes etc
22. Class 22
Nets, ropes, strings, sails, sacks and bags and fibrous textile materials etc.
23. Class 23
Yarns and threads for textile uses.
24. Class 24
Textile and textile goods which are not included in the other classes.
25. Class 25
Clothing, footwear, and headgear.
26. Class 26 and 27
Non-textile carpet, rugs, wall hangings, linoleum, and other materials which are used for covering floors.
27. Class 28
Game and playthings, and other sporting items also which are not covered under any other class.
28. Class 29
Poultry items, jams, eggs etc., oils and edible oils.
29. Class 30
Coffee, tea, sugar, cocoa, rice, tapioca and spices etc.
30. Class 31
Horticulture, agriculture and forestry grains which are not included in any other class. Fresh fruits and vegetable, seeds and malt etc.
31. Class 32
Aerated drinks, beer, non-alcoholic drinks (including juices and fruits drinks also) and other things which are used for preparing beverages.
32. Class 33
All alcoholic beverages but excluding beer
33. Class 34
Matches, smoker’s articles and tobacco
Trademark Classes for Services
1. Class 35
Advertising and Business: In this class come those services which help the management in managing the affairs or the organization (commercial organization). It also includes any advertising activity in which any announcement is made to the general public at large and/or concerns any type of goods and services.
2. Class 36
Insurance and Financial: This class includes activities relating to insurance, finance sector and/or the monetary sectors.
3. Class 37
Construction and Repair: This class includes the work done by contractors or sub-contractors in the making and/or repairing work of buildings or any restoration of work to its original state.
4. Class 38
Communication: This class includes services which help in communication anything between people, whether oral and/or visual.
5. Class 39
Transportation and storage: This class includes any service related to storage of goods in a warehouse and/or any other place or transporting them from one place to another. And, the transportation can be via land, air or water.
6. Class 40
Material treatment: This class includes any service which involves changing of a chemical and/or the mechanical composition of a substance. Or any other service not included in any other class on the same lines.
7. Class 41
Education and Entertainment: This class includes any service which improves the knowledge or mental capacity of a person and/or animal. It also includes services which entertain people or animals.
8. Class 42
Any scientific and technological services or research and/or any development of any computer hardware or software or any legal services. It particularly includes the services provided by an engineer (designing and making blueprints etc) or any research for medical services. But it does not include services under business research covered under class 35 and/or any service under the class 36, 37 and 44.
9. Class 43
Temporary Accommodations: Any service provided by a person and/or establishment which includes the preparation of food or drinks for consumption services or providing a bed for stay is also covered under this class. It also includes the services for reservation or a place of stay provided for animals. In addition to that, it specifically does not include any service covered under the classes 36, 39, 40, 41 and 44.
10. Class 44
Medical Services: This class covers the services related to hygiene, medical services, first aid and beauty parlor services to human beings and/or animals. It also includes the services which are related to the field of horticulture and/or agriculture but does not include the services which are already covered under classes 37, 39, 40, 41,42 and 43. And, it also includes the services of breeding of animals, services relating to plant growth or medical advice and services relating to artificial insemination as well.
11. Class 45
This class covers any personal and/or social service. It also includes surveillance of people for the protection of their interest, safety and well being. In addition to that, it includes social projects like matrimony services and funeral services, etc. But, it does not include any services which are already covered under the classes 35, 36, 39, 41, 42 and 44 or any car rental services.
Choose Experts for Trademark Related Services!
A robust and distinctive trademark helps you to establish your brand or company so that consumers can easily recognize them. Therefore, before registering a trademark or expanding your business globally, a multi-country trademark search is considered important and imperative. That is so in order to avoid potential conflicts related to trademark infringement. The process not only saves time but also the resources of your organization.
TMReady’s trademark search services are designed to offer customers the valuable information required before filing for a trademark. Our trademark search solutions are cost-effective and are also tailored to suit the specific requirements of clients.
Visit website to know more.
Other Related Articles:
- Trademark Watching: What Makes It An Essential Service?
- How is Trademark Licensing Beneficial for Your Brand?
- Why Should You Take Information Disclosure Statement Seriously?