What Are the 45 Trade Mark Classes?
Your intellectual property (IP) is a key component to the success of your business. Your IP encompasses your entire brand, making it essential that you protect it properly. A trade mark is one type of IP protection that serves to distinguish your brand from others.
A key element to trade marks is trade mark classes, which is the classification system for trade marks. To help you understand trade mark classes, this article will explain the importance of trade mark classes and the 45 different trade mark classes.
What Are Trade Mark Classes?
When applying for a trade mark, you must choose one or more trade mark classes. These classes relate to the categories of goods or services that you will use your trade mark for. There are 45 of these trade mark classes, divided into 34 goods and 11 services. Australia’s method of classifying goods and services for trade marks accords with the international Nice trade mark classification system.
The trade mark classification system provides a useful mechanism that enables similar trade marks to co-exist. This can occur as long as the relevant classes of goods or services are completely separate.
For example, the name ‘Dove’ is used for a personal services brand and a chocolate brand. However, as these two brands cover very different goods and services, there is little chance of consumer confusion. As such, they can co-exist, despite being the same trade mark.
Importance of Trade Mark Classes
Selecting your trade mark classes is an extremely important process. This is because your trade mark will only receive protection under the goods and services classes you select. For example, if you make a food product, you may wish to trade mark both the good itself and the process by which you make it. Failure to select all relevant trade mark classes puts your brand at risk. Therefore, you must consider the extent of trade mark protection you will need, and select classes accordingly.
Using Your Trade Mark
Having a trade mark means you need to use it. If you do not use your trade mark, you risk it being removed from the trade mark register. When selecting your trade mark classes, this is an important thing to consider.
If you choose more trade mark classes than needed, it will be harder to use your trade mark in each class. Additionally, selecting too many trade mark classes may result in excessive renewal fees.
However, once you have made your trade mark application, you will not be able to add additional trade mark classes to it. This is because it would increase your trade mark’s scope of protection. If you later decide you need another trade mark class, you would be required to make an entirely new trade mark application. It is important that you choose classes carefully, but remember not to choose more than necessary.
45 Trade Mark Classes
The 45 classes of goods and services are outlined below:
|Class of Goods||Goods Included|
|3||Cosmetics and cleaning products|
|4||Industrial oils and greases|
|6||Common metals and their alloys|
|8||Hand tool products|
|9||Computer, software and scientific goods|
|14||Precious metals and their alloys (including jewellery)|
|16||Paper and cardboard|
|19||Materials and building products (non-metal)|
|20||Furniture, mirrors and cookware|
|21||Household and kitchen utensils|
|22||Ropes and string|
|23||Yarn and thread|
|25||Clothing and apparel|
|26||Lace and embroidery|
|27||Floor coverings (including mats and carpets)|
|28||Sporting goods and games|
|29||Meat, fish and processed foods|
|33||Wines and spirits|
|Class of Services||Services Included|
|35||Advertising, business and retail|
|36||Insurance and finance|
|37||Construction and repair|
|39||Transport and storage|
|40||Treatment and materials processing|
|41||Education and entertainment services|
|42||Computer, software and scientific services|
|44||Medical and veterinary|
|45||Legal and security|
Trade mark classes are a critical part of the trade mark registration process. Some important things you should consider when applying for a trade mark are:
- what a trade mark class is;
- why trade mark classes are important; and
- the importance of using your trade mark.
Frequently Asked Questions
Trade mark ‘classes’ refer to the categories of goods and services available for registering your trade mark under. You can choose from 45 different classes of goods and services under the Nice classification system.
Your trade mark will only be protected under the goods and services classes you have chosen. This makes it essential to select the right trade mark classes for your goods or services. Once you have made your trade mark application, you will not be able to increase your scope of protection by adding trade mark classes.