Classes of goods and services
An application for trade mark registration contains a number of mandatory elements, including statement of the trade mark owner, the trade mark, and the classes of goods and services. A trade mark can be categorised into 45 international trade mark classes, known as the “Nice Classification”. Classes 1-34 cover goods, whilst Classes 35-45 cover services.
Examples of classes of goods and services
Class 1 is a class of goods which mainly includes chemical products for use in industry, science and agriculture, including those which go into the making of products belonging to other classes.
Inclusions (not limited to): sensitized paper; tyre repairing compositions; salt for preserving, other than for foodstuffs; certain additives for use in the food industry, for example, pectin, lecithin, enzymes and chemical preservatives; certain ingredients for use in the manufacture of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, for example, vitamins, preservatives and antioxidants; certain filtering materials, for example, mineral substances, vegetable substances and ceramic materials in particulate form.
Exclusions include: chemical preparations for medical or veterinary purposes (Cl. 5); -fungicides, herbicides and preparations for destroying vermin (Cl. 5); adhesives for stationery or household purposes (Cl. 16).
Class 35 is a services class that predominantly includes services rendered by parties principally with the object of helping in the working or management of a commercial undertaking (retail services for example), or help in the management of the business affairs or commercial functions of an industrial or commercial enterprise, as well as services rendered by advertising establishments.
Exclusions include, for example, services such as evaluations and reports of engineers which do not directly refer to the working or management of affairs in a commercial or industrial enterprise.
Broad vs specific trade mark classes
When selecting trade mark classes, all classes of goods and services that are relevant to your business now and the future direction of the business should be considered. It should be noted, however, that fees for applications are dependent on the number of classes, so classes should be selected wisely. Furthermore, how broad the brand claim is will depend on the nature of the trade mark and the nature of your business. Choice of classes is something that needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through this process.
Do it right the first time
The correct classes need to be identified when lodging a trade mark application because the scope of the application cannot be broadened after filing.
Certain misconceptions lead to the inclusion of incorrect or unnecessary classes in the trade mark application. For example, a trade mark does not need to incorporate all aspects of its internal business operations, such as advertising, accounting and web hosting. The classes in the trade mark application should be for goods and/or services that the business offers to others.
Incorrect trade mark classes may result in delays and unnecessary fees. In the future, incorrect identification of goods/services could also result in partial or total removal of the trade mark due to non-use. In the worst case scenario, you will not have the scope of protection that your business needs. The advice of a trade mark attorney with extensive experience in identifying the appropriate classes and in preparing descriptions of goods/services is invaluable in this step to ensure the best possible scope of trade mark registration is lodged.