Skip to main content
Explanation of the Trademark International Classification System


Filing a name, logo or slogan is not all about the mark itself but also what you're doing with it, i.e. your goods and/or services. All goods or services are categorized within International Classes (IC hereafter). Goods run from classes IC 1-34, while Services are in IC 35-45. Please see a chart here.

A Bit of History

On September 1, 1973 the USPTO adopted the international classification system as set forth by the Nice Agreement. Prior to that date, the USPTO used their classification system, which was long-winded to say the least.

For instance, let's say you wanted to file a name for clothing, shoes and hats – today you'd file it in 1 class, IC 25 but before 1973 2 classes were filed, 22 & 39. Another example – IC 16 (paper & printed materials) used to be divided across 8 classes, 2, 5, 22, 23, 29, 37, 38, 50. Suffice it to say, the IC system is far easier to wrap your mind around.

What are Goods?

As mentioned before, goods fall into classes 1-34 but what constitutes a good? The easiest way to think about it is to consider if what you're selling is tangible or not. Can you touch it, see it, hear it, wear it, smell it, so on and so forth?

Goods can include items like cosmetics, vitamins, jewelry, backpacks, clothing, cigars, food & beverage items, guitars, chemicals, paints, tools, machines, cars and on and on.

What are Services?

Services fall into classes 35-45 but what is a service? This one tends to be a bit trickier as some services deal with tangible items. One simple way to look at is to bear in mind if you're doing something for someone.

For instance, if you prepare taxes, are a real estate agent, teach something, run a restaurant or a hotel, are a doctor, lawyer, cosmetician then you're offering a service.

Can I be Selling Goods and Services?

Absolutely and these seems to almost always be the case for certain industries. Let me provide a few examples:

1) You have a name that you use for your hair salon as well as an eventual line of hair care products. To trademark the name, you'll want to file in IC 3 (cosmetics and cleaning preparations) as well as IC 44 (medical, beauty & agricultural).

2) You have a name for your retail clothing store where you sell all types of clothing from different designers. Since you are not selling your branded line of clothing, you'd need only to file in IC 35 (advertising & business).

3) You have a name for your line of baked goods, specifically cakes, candies and cookies that you distribute to coffee shops and kiosks. Since another party is selling your goods, you'd need only to file in IC 30 (staple foods).

- Mention our blog & receive $25 off of our Premium Package -
- Put BLOG in the Contact Name field -

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trademark 101: State Trademark or Federal Trademark?

Now that you know what a trademark is, what a trademark isn’t, and that you should get a trademark, let’s explore if a State trademark or Federal trademark is most appropriate for your needs.
For the USA, trademarks can be obtained either at the State level or the Federal level. So, which do you need? I’ll explain both and that’ll give you a clearer picture as where to go from here.
First and foremost, a State trademark gives you trademark protection for that specific state whereas a Federal trademark gives you trademark protection nationwide. Simple enough, yes? But, which is the right trademark for your needs?
1)Are you actively in business? 2)Are you only doing business in one city or county or just statewide?
If you answered yes to both, then exploring a State trademark is your next step. Here are some advantages to a State trademark:
·The right to expand statewide. The name will be waiting for you in other metros. ·If another mark is infringing upon yours within the state, you’ll have a…

Trademark 101: Should You Trademark?

Now that we know what a trademark is and is not, let’s dive into the next logical question: should you trademark?
The easiest way to answer this question is to look at your business and your plans for it.
-Is the name, logo, or slogan an integral part of your business? -Are you doing business on a statewide or nationwide or international level? If you’re only doing business citywide or countywide, do you see potential for geographical growth? -Would another business in your industry using the same or similar name hurt your business? In other words, is it possible you’d lose customers if someone had the same or similar name in your industry?
If you answered yes to any of the above then exploring a trademark is the way to go.
Here’s what a US Federal trademark gives you:
·A legal presumption of your ownership of the mark and your exclusive right to use the mark nationwide on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration (whereas a state registration only provides rights…

Beware of Official-y Correspondence

Once you get that trademark filed be aware that your information is of public record, which means, unfortunately, some will mine that resource & some of those folks will send you solicitations. 
These solicitations often look very official, and "may use names that resemble the USPTO name, including, for example, one or more of the terms "United States," “U.S.,” "Trademark," "Patent," "Registration," "Office," or "Agency."  
Some will even have documents that resemble actual government documents rather than what you'd expect a company to send and this is often done by "emphasizing official government data like the USPTO application serial number, the registration number, the International Class(es), filing dates, and other information that is publicly available from USPTO records."
Most of these are asking you for money. That's your major warning flag.
"All official correspondence will be from the …