Trademark Classes

Choosing a particular class in trademarks

Trademark is usually classified as goods and services and is divided into different classes and is required to be registered in individual classes as per the specific work areas. This takes us to the next question that what is a “Trademark class” and how to choose the correct one for your product or service.

Each trademark class is assigned a number and applies for a certain type of products or services. The Nice Classification List (“NCL) consists of 34 goods classes and 11 services classes making it a total of 45 classes. For example, if the products were related to Clothing, footwear, headwear, one would file trademark registration under Class 25. If the products were related to Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water, one would trademark registration under Class 12. If one provides legal services, one would file trademark registration under Class 45.

Trademark are not literal that is to say that just because no one is using that exact trademark, it does not mean that there is no infringement problem. If one has to pick Apple as a Trademark and want to use it to sell cars, chances are that one can do it as because no one is going to think that Apple is selling cars too. But if a Trademark attorney is going to look at the Trademark he is going to look at all the variation, even if it is phonetically similar or anything that even sound similar or same, it means that it might potentially be infringed.

Trademark Description for good and services

After selection of appropriate TM class for product or service, a complete description is to be drafted in order to announce to the public the scope of trademark rights. This description is the basis on which the trademark examiner determines whether there is a conflict between product and service to that of another.

So while describing goods or services one intend to sell or use broad language, but not too broad as inherent valuable protection can be missed. This caution is critical as in a competitive environment the products and services are having a striking resemblance which might lead to confusion among the consumers.

A good practice is to : a) describe using broad terminology b) must be understood by an average person c)use proper punctuation marks d) do not include trademark in the description.

Reviewing description in issued Trademark can help to check if someone have missed anything vital. It’s advisable to utilize the professional help of an attorney who can assist in an accurate way in choosing a class and should explaining broad description of your products and/or services.

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