A Guide to Trade Mark Class 18
IP Australia is a government body in charge of trademark registration. They categorise trade marks into 45 different classes of goods and services. These classes allow different sorts of enterprises to register their trademarks in the categories that are most relevant to their main business. In particular, class 18 includes leather, leather imitations, travel items not covered in other classes, and saddlery. This article will explore some key considerations before applying for a trade mark for your leather goods.
Know What Fits in Class 18 Products
An important consideration before you apply for a trade mark, is completely understanding how trade marks and trade mark classes operate. When you apply to register a trade mark, you will need to nominate which category, or ‘class’, you will use your trade mark in. You can apply for a trade mark under more than one class.
If your business produces leather and leather imitations, selecting class 18 in your application would be most relevant. Likewise, class 18 also covers:
- animal skins;
- travel bags;
- walking sticks; and
Louise Vuitton and RM Williams (travel bags) are direct examples of goods in class 18. Though, suppose your business produces clothes, footwear, or headgear. In this case, class 18 would not be relevant. Ultimately, the trade mark class you choose is critical because IP Australia will only protect your trade mark under the goods and services classes you have chosen.
Explore Coordinated Classes
If you are not sure if class 18 is right for you, there may be other coordinated classes. A coordinated class is one that is linked to another. Likewise, candidates who file in class 18 also file in these other classes.
When deciding which trade mark class your product will fall into, consider looking at the trade marks of your competitors to determine how to protect your trade mark comprehensively. You can search your competitors’ trade marks using the Australian trade mark search tool ATMOSS.
Some coordinated classes to consider include class:
- 14 – precious metals;
- 25 – clothing;
- 35 – business and advertising services;
- 42 – technology and science services; and
- 44 – medical and veterinary services.
When you register a trademark, you must select the appropriate class. While you may remove trade mark classes, you cannot add more. If you wish to, you must restart the application process. This makes it critical that you conduct a thorough trade mark search and explore as many relevant classes as possible.
However, note that your registrations are limited to classes that cover the goods or services you already offer or plan to offer (if you are registering on an intent-to-use basis). If you add irrelevant trade mark classes, you risk paying unnecessary fees and having your application rejected.
Provide Descriptions of Your Leather Goods
If your trade mark is utilised in commerce, you must provide a sample of it as it appears to customers. This is because the purpose of a registered trade mark is to identify your unique business. Hence, the mark must be seen on or in connection with your leather goods. A trademark example should be a label or container for the products or a related display.
Ultimately, you want to provide as much information in your application as possible, to avoid delays or IP Australia rejecting your application. However, always use clear and accurate descriptions. Your trade mark application is not the place to describe your goods and services in a superfluous way as you would when marketing your business. Rather, you should describe your goods and services in layperson’s terms to communicate their essential purpose and functionality. By identifying your business’ essential products and including those in your application, you can accurately reflect your business so IP Australia can provide tailored protection.
For this process, it is best to engage a trade mark lawyer who will be able to help you.
Before deciding whether to trade mark something under trade mark class 18 you should consider:
- what goods you are trade marking;
- whether you need to lodge a coordinated trade mark application;
- make sure you use the good or service you are trade marking; and
- how many classes you should register in.
Frequently Asked Questions
You must restart the application process if you list the incorrect class. Your registrations are limited to classes that cover the goods or services you already offer.
Animal skins, hides, travel bags, umbrellas and parasols are all in class 18.