How to Choose Right Class for Your Trademark?

Trademark class represents the nature of your business or service associated with the mark. Hence for registering a trademark, you must identify the goods and services your trademark would represent.

The Indian Trademark office follows Nice Classification that clubs all goods and services into 45 different classes. The classification brings consistency, making trademark search more manageable for the applicant.

You must choose the correct class for your trademark; because if you get it wrong, the entire trademark application is wasted and can be rejected. This means that you would have to go through the whole trademark registration process again.

Since the change in class won’t be possible through trademark rectification.

How to classify the class of your trademark?

Identical or similar marks within the same class have a high risk of causing customer confusion, and hence protection is not granted to such marks.

If you are a first-time applicant, understanding trademark classes is challenging.

For instance:  If you as an applicant are registering a trademark for a beer brand, how can you differentiate between class 32, which is for beverages and beer whereas alcoholic beverage fall in class 33.

Following steps, will help you conclude

Choose between Goods and Services

Before you attempt to file a trademark application, you will have to narrow down your selection based on the fact, whether you provide goods or services.

For Instance, Mcdonald and Starbucks have a registered trademark for both services as well as for the products. Both the companies registered a trademark for product and service as well because Starbucks also sells branded coffee beans, ground coffee and coffee cups as well.

Selecting a class based on function or Purpose

The purpose of a finished product will be the deciding factor while choosing a class from the classification provided on the quickcompany or government site.

If the function of the product is not mentioned in the class heading, you could select the class based on the description of the products and services.

Select whether the mark will be for the entire company or a single product

The trademark application can be made in a single class only; if you want to register a trademark in more than one class, you will have to make multiple trademark application.

Hence, you need to make sure that the registered trademark is for a company or a single line of merchandise.

This would determine that the trademark registration will be filed for a single class or multiple. 

Searching Classes

Quickcompany hosts trademark class search engine that would provide you with all relevant classes for your trademark based on the nature of the product or service. Alternatively, you can also search for the appropriate class on the I.P India website

For instance: if you search for Photography; Class 1 (Chemicals), Class 9 (Computer and Scientific Devices) and Class 31 (Education and Entertainment Services) are represented as relevant. Selecting a precise class will be difficult if you are not aware of the process to select a class the entire process will be counterproductive.

Choose the correct class for your mark using Trademark class selector

Trademark Description

The goods or services appearing in the classes are general indications relating to the fields to which the product belongs. The explanation for a trademark will be one of the factors while determining whether the mark will infringe upon the mark registered or not.

NOTE: The trademark description drafted should not be a narrow or too broad as that would mean that you are giving up your right over certain products that have not been listed.

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.

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 already registered. Hence, it is recommended to enlist the help of a trademark expert who is well versed with the trademark registration process and drafting of the application.

Related Trademark Classes

Nice classification may be beneficial but entirely relying on the class number is never a good idea. The reason is that there is some degree of overlap between the classes.

For instance, while searching for "telecommunication" in the list of classes, the trademark class selector list class 9, class 37 and class 38.

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