How to Choose Right Class for Your Trademark?

Selection of a correct class for a trademark is a confusing affair that a trademark applicant has to go through. The applicant must choose a precise class from the list of 45 classes listed on the I.P India Website.

The primary function of a trademark is to distinguish the commercial origin of your product. They are the most important and valuable asset of business as they represent company image and authenticates the product quality associated with that brand.

Understanding Trademark Class

An application to register a trademark is usually made to a governmental authority that authenticates the trademark and provides registration certificate to the owner of the mark. The application for a trademark can only be filed if the applicant selects a class or multiple classes for his mark.

This Raises the Question What Trademark Class Is?

Well, understanding about trademark class will you help understand the trademark registration process. The Indian Trademark Office uses NICE classification of goods and services as per which the trademark application is to be filed in a specific class, and there are 45 classes out of which 35 are for products while the rest are for services.

The NICE Classification system is followed in many of the countries, and hence the classification system also brings consistency; which makes trademark search easier when applying for a well-known trademark or filing an international trademark application.

Traversing the Trademark Classification System

The trademark application is to be filed declaring the specific class in which they want to register their trademark from the list of classes out of which 35 are product related classes, and 11 are for services.

Take for an example; If you want to register a trademark for your mobile device or smartphone, you will have to register your trademark application in class 9 of the NICE Classification provided on IP India website.

Hence, the person seeking brand name registration is recommended to conduct a trademark search for his trademark before filing for registration.

Trademark Description

Description for a trademark is an essential element that the applicant has to file along with the trademark application. The explanation for trademark will be one of the factors in determining whether the mark will infringe upon the registered trademark or not.

The trademark description drafted should not be a narrow one as that would mean that you are giving up your right over certain products that you have not listed.

Related: What are the different types of Trademark in India

How to Classify the Class of your Trademark?

The trademark office has listed 45 classes for registration of a mark. Selecting a class is a difficult task that the applicant has to necessarily complete because a similar mark in the same class of goods or services is usually considered competing, the use of the identical or similar marks within the same class has a high risk for causing customer confusion.

Therefore,

When you apply for trademark application the first and foremost thing that you have to decide is whether you want to file a trademark application in one or multiple class.

To Illustrate, Shahrukh Khan has file trademark application in all of the trademark classes. Whereas, Google, Apple and Disney chose classes which they considered relevant for their product as per its description.

Following Steps, Will Help you Conclude

 

Step-1: Choose between Goods and Services

Before you attempt to file a trademark application, you can narrow down your selection by deciding that the mark will be for service or a product. As in the case, your trademark is for the product you only need to look into the first 35 classes only.

Step-2: Select whether the mark will be for the entire company or a single product

The second step will involve concluding that the mark will be for the whole of the company or a single line of merchandise. This would determine that the trademark registration will be filed for a single class or multiple. As multiple class trademark application requires a separate application for each class or a different set of application, commonly known as Class 99 trademark.

Step-3: For description enlist the help of a trademark expert

Description of your product will determine whether the trademark examiner will consider your brand to be confusingly similar to the mark that is registered in a different class. Hence it is recommended to enlist the help of a trademark examiner who is well versed with the trademark registration process and drafting of the application.

Related Trademark Classes

The term Related trademark has found no place in the trademark law or trademark manual but for understanding and navigating the trademark classes the classes that have products related to each other are mentioned together in the description. This, however, doesn't mean that the applicant applies for the classes related to one another in the single ordinary trademark application.

The only benefit of a related trademark is that the applicant efficiently searches the relevant trademark class and list them in their application.

Click Here: Trademark Class Selector