A trademark class is a category of goods or services that are classified in order to distinguish similar trademarks from each other and to help consumers identify the source of a product or service. In the modern classification, there are 45 classes in total, with 34 classes designated for goods and 11 classes designated for services. Each class corresponds to a specific category of goods or services and a trademark must be registered within the appropriate class in order to be protected.
There are 45 classes in total, 34 classes designated for goods and 11 classes designated for services. Each class corresponds to a specific category of goods or services and a trademark must be registered within the appropriate class in order to be protected.
The goods and services are divided into classes according to their similarity. The general idea is if 2 goods or services fall into the same class, they are considered to be similar.
Every year new items are added to the classification.
Different countries use different classification systems for trademarks, although many of them are based on the international classification of goods and services (the Nice Classification) maintained by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
The Nice Classification is the most widely used classification system for trademarks and patents, and is recognized by most countries around the world. It is used by many countries as a guide to classify goods and services for trademark registration purposes.
However, some countries may have their own classification systems or may use a modified version of the Nice Classification. For example, The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) uses a modified version of the Nice Classification and has additional items.
It's important to be aware of the classification system used in the country where you wish to register your trademark and file the application accordingly. It's advisable to consult with a local trademark attorney or intellectual property lawyer to ensure that you are classifying your goods or services correctly.
As it turns out, determining the similarity of products or services is very complex. Rice and phones are different products, but what about coffee and soft drinks? Fresh fruits and canned fruits? Who will determine the similarity between every product and service?
No wonder the Trademark Offices had the same issue and, back in 1957, created a harmonized list of all products and services called the Nice Classification, taking its name after the French city of Nice (it's not like the classification is especially nice).
So what did they do in Nice? They divided all products and services into 45 classes to make the process easier for Trademark Offices. Now, if two products are in the same class, they are considered similar.
Here is the point: you need to determine in which class are your products and services. Sounds difficult? This is an easy task (generally)!
Go to this page: http://tmclass.tmdn.org/ec2/, and type in your service or product in the bar. You will see something like this:
What if there are no direct hits?
That could happen if your trademark is for a very specific product: providing bitcoin cloud mining to others. Here you need an experienced attorney to determine the correct class, as you will have to find a more general description of your service. Contact us if you have any problems.
This might be tricky. The first way is to check the classification of the country of your interest. If you can't find anything, try using the synonyms. If you have no luck with this, try checking the classes associated with marks of companies offering similar services or products.
The work of your attorney not only to find the correct class but to all the items covering your products or services and to determine any additional classes you might need in the next 2-3 years.
Yes, in most cases, you will need to pay extra fees for each additional class of goods or services that you wish to register your trademark under.
In some countries, it is more cost-effective to add extra classes when you are filing your first mark, in other countries, the price per extra class is the same as of filing a new trademark.
Always ask your provider about the price of an extra class to decide if it makes sense to cover more classes with one application.
Determining if products in two classes are similar can be a complex task, as it often depends on the specific goods or services involved, as well as the context in which they are used.
Another way to determine if products in two classes are similar is to compare them in the context of how they are used by consumers. For example, if two products are used for similar purposes or in similar ways, they may be considered similar.
It's important to note that even if two products are in different classes, if they are considered similar, there may be a likelihood of confusion among the consumers and the registration of the trademark may be denied.
Sometimes you can use the Similarity Tool provided by the EUIPO to determine if 2 products are similar but it works only for the EU trademarks.
Hence, in the most cases you have to rely on the opinion of your attorney familiar with actual cases and court decisions.