The process to register your trademark can be challenging, and selecting the right international trademark classes is one reason why. However, a simple guess here won’t suffice. Accurately completing this step in the process is critical to ensuring that your trademark is protected. So, what exactly is a trademark class, and which classes are most common? Read on to learn more.
What are Trademark Classes?
When submitting your trademark application to the USPTO, you will need to file for certain classes of goods and services. The purpose of these international classes is to classify how the trademark will be used in the marketplace. There are 45 classes to choose from, 34 for goods and 11 for services. Often, business owners will need to register their trademark in multiple classes. For instance, a business that makes and sells jewelry and purses would need to file for Class 14, which covers precious metals and the components of jewelry making. Class 18, for leather goods, including purses of any fabric.
Frequently Used Trademark Classes
Trademark Class 9 represents a wide variety of goods of an electrical and technological nature. The most popular goods represented in Class 9 include smart phones, mobile apps, software, computers, and other electronics. However, even fire extinguishers and equipment used for astronomy fall into this international class.
While the primary product represented in Class 25 is clothing, footwear and headgear are also included. If you plan to sell clothes, shoes of any kind, or non-protective headgear, like hats, you’ll need to file for Class 25.
Classes 29, 30. And 31-Foods
Each of these classes represents a different category of foods. Class 29, for example, is used to designate meats and processed foods, like jellies and jams, as well as certain dairy products, edible fats, and oils. Class 30, on the other hand, is used to classify staple foods, like flours, sugars, spices, and coffee, while Class 31 is used for live animals, fresh produce, and grains.
Class 32-Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Beer
In addition to beer, bottled waters and fruit drinks, as well as the syrups used to make other beverages are included in Class 32.
Class 33-Wine and Hard Liquor
All alcoholic beverages that are not beer-based would be filed under Class 33. This includes wine, liquor, hard seltzers, and hard ciders.
Class 35-Advertising and Business
Unlike the previously mentioned classes, which represented products, Class 35 is used for services, mainly associated with managing businesses. Some services that fall under Class 35 include advertising, public relations, human resource management, and clerical services.
A broad range of services are included under Class 41, covering everything from teaching and training to events showcasing sports or art.
Class 42-Computer and Scientific
A variety of scientific and technical services are represented by Class 42. Common services include biological research, clinical trials, graphic are design, and weather forecasting.
What to Keep in Mind when Selecting International Trademark Classes
The process to choose the correct trademark classes is tedious, but important, because your trademark will only be protected in the classes that you’ve included in your application. Be sure to include classes for any goods or services you are currently offering or plan to offer in the near future. It may be tempting to fill your trademark filing with as many classes as possible, with aspirations to future sales. However, the USPTO requires that you prove that you are actually selling all of the goods and/or services listed in your trademark application before a registration can be issued. In addition, your trademark filing fees are based on the number of classes you file, so including multiple classes will drive up the costs of your registration.
If you are unsure about the trademark classes that best fit the goods or services your business offers, an experienced trademark attorney can help. Your attorney can assess your business’s offerings now and its plans for the future in determining which classes should take priority. They can determine the right application as well, whether you are currently offering your goods and services (“In Use”) or plan to do so soon (“Intent-to-Use”). Your attorney will also ensure that you are submitting the right specimens for each class.
Which Trademark Classes Best Fit Your Brand?
With so many classes, in can be confusing to know which one best represents the goods and services you plan to offer. In fact, you’ll likely need to file for more than one class to fully protect your trademark. Engaging an experienced trademark attorney will ensure that the correct classes are included in your trademark applications to provide you with the broadest protections possible. Contact us today to learn more about our trademark registration services.