Trademark Class Search: It’s Easier Than You Think It Is!
When applying for trademark registration, you must select the appropriate Class for your goods and/or services associated with your trademark. For instance, if your brand specializes in printed sweatshirts and beanies, you would have to choose Class 25 (clothing, footwear, and headwear). Although this example illustrates the general idea of trademark Class selection, it is not representative of the real-world confusion that most applicants are faced with.
Now, if you happen to choose the wrong Class initially and your application somehow gets accepted, you will have to go through the inconvenience of submitting a whole new application––costing more time and money––as it is not possible to add more goods or services to your registration. Additionally, if you do not realize your mistake and thus use your trademark in goods or services under a different Class, you could unintentionally expose yourself to trademark infringement. Lastly, the most common consequence of choosing the wrong Class is the denial of your registration as well as the loss of your registration fee.
In this post, we will explain the factors to consider when choosing your trademark Class––let’s prevent any potential risks! Moreover, we will further provide you with free search tools that will help you make a decision with precision.
Factors to Consider
- Product or business: A trademark can either apply to a particular product or to your business as a whole. The idea behind this is that your trademark could apply for: (1) your business’ branding aspect, such as your brand logo, name, and slogan; or (2) the product aspect, such as your goods or services, labels, and so on.
- Goods or services: After you have decided what aspect of your business you want to trademark, you must then decide whether you are trademarking a good or service. This will help eliminate any Class options that are irrelevant to your good or service.
- Raw vs. finished: Although your trademark could be used in various ways, such as your website, product packaging, catalogs, and so on, you must note that the trademark Class only applies to the product or service. Moreover, you must further consider the finished product rather than the raw materials used. For example, if you sell clothing and pack your products in boxes that have your brand’s logo printed on them, you would need to select Class 25 (clothing, footwear, and headwear) for the products but would not need to register a Class linked with the packaging.
Free, Helpful Search Tools for Choosing Classes
WIPO: provides you with a detailed list of all trademark Classes with explanatory notes
USPTO: a search tool where you can simply enter your product type keyword (e.g., sunscreen, travel bag, baseball cap, etc.) in the search box and get a full list of corresponding Classes that includes your keyword
EUIPO: a classification assistance tool where you can simply enter your product type keyword in the “search term” box and press the search button to get a full list of corresponding Classes that includes your keyword
MARQ Folio: provides you with not only a Classification assistance tool (via keyword search) but also a free consulting service with top-tier law firms that specialize in local trademark laws and a centralized dashboard where you can check all of your applications and their real-time status as well as progress
Once again, choosing the right Class is essential when it comes to successful trademark registration. Remember to only list the goods and/or services that you actually use or intend to use under your trademark to prevent the denial of your registration, unintentional infringement of others’ trademarks, the hassle of filing a new application, and any additional costs. Also, keep in mind that there are useful resources out there that could facilitate the complex, overwhelming process of trademark registration and lead your brand to success!
To learn more about how MarqVision can help you select the right trademark Class for your goods or services visit https://www.marqvision.com/product/marq-folio.
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