Understanding the selection of the classes of goods & services in trademark application

The selection of relevant classes and specific items of goods and services represents a crucial step in the process of creating a trademark application. On the one hand, too narrowly defined goods and services limit the extent of protection required and may leave a brand vulnerable to copycats and infringement attempts. On the other hand, too broadly defined goods and services not only result in a higher cost (government fees increase with additional classes) but also increase the risk of oppositions and consequent unsuccessful trademark registration. This article presents a detailed guidance for entrepreneurs on how to select the ideal set of relevant classes of goods and services during the trademark application process.


Igor Demcak

What are Nice classes of goods & services?

When it comes to trademark registration, the applicant is required to select the classes of goods and services as well as individual items that are to be protected by the trademark. Naturally, these items vary between individual businesses. For the purposes of categorisation, a Nice system of 45 classes of goods and services has been implemented, effectively categorising all products and services into a total of 45 classes. 34 of them contain products, whereas the remaining 11 are focused on services. An overview of these classes can be found in Trama’s Trademark Academy.

On average, a trademark application is filed for 2.51 classes

As highlighted in the figure below, 51.1% of all trademark applications are filed for a single class of goods and services.

Number of classes per trademark application

The inclusion of additional classes on trademark application is particularly relevant for business operating in specific industry sectors. An example can be made of SaaS (software-as-a-service) businesses for which a combination of classes 9 and 42 is highly recommended as it covers both mobile and online applications. Conversely, a clothing retailer producing own products does not necessarily need to register class 35 (retail and wholesale of products) as this type of a business service is implicitly covered by trademark registration in class 25 (clothing).

The selection of relevant classes of goods & services can be a daunting challenge, especially for entrepreneurs who are not familiar with the nuances of the trademark registration process. The best advice is always to discuss this selection with a legal representative. Trademark one-stop-shop Trama has however put together Goods & Services Assist - an informational tool that allows entrepreneurs to better understand which classes of goods and services are likely to be relevant for their specific industry sector.

Igor Demcak
Igor Demcak

Trademark Attorney

Founder & CEO of Trama

7 year experience in IP protection

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