When you file a trademark application in the United States, you must indicate the goods and services that you are using your trademark with (or that you plan to use your trademark with). You can’t register at trademark in the abstract—you can only register it for specific goods and services.
All goods and services are divided into 45 different categories, called International Classes. These were defined by a treaty called the Nice Classification System (after Nice, France). The World Intellectual Property Organization maintains the classification system (you can read more here: http://www.wipo.int/classifications/en/index.html) but the United States doesn’t use the system in exactly the same way that other countries do.
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These are called “International Classes” because most countries use the Nice Classification System for their trademarks. Notably, Canada does not.
The 45 classes are listed below (1-34 are for goods; 35-45 are for services). If you don’t know which class something fits into, you can leave the class blank when you apply for a trademark and the trademark examiner who reviews your application will choose the right class. Each class requires a separate government fee, but you can drop goods and services from your application during the review process to avoid paying extra fees.
In some countries, it’s common when applying to register a trademark to list the class heading (the description of everything that the class covers, as shown in the list below). In the United States, you can’t do this. You must provide more details about what you sell under your trademark.
The way that classes are used can be surprising. For example
- Downloadable software is in Class 09, but non-downloadable software is a service in Class 42;
- Skin care products that are used as cosmetics are in Class 03, but skin care products that are used as a medicine are in Class 05;
- Clothing items are in Class 25, but blankets are in Class 24;
- Online information about jobs is in Class 35, but online information about movies is in Class 41, and online information about animals is in Class 44;
- Hand tools are in Class 08, but motorized or electric tools are in Class 07;
- Beer is in Class 32, but other alcoholic drinks are in Class 33.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office provides a guide of acceptable wording and corresponding classes. See http://tess2.uspto.gov/netahtml/tidm.html. If the specific items you want to include in your trademark registration are not listed there, it can be helpful to discuss your application with an experienced trademark attorney.
NOTE: U.S. trademark applications that are submitted through the Madrid Protocol are subject to many additional restrictions in how goods and services can be revised.
The class information below summarizes the items that are part of each class. More detailed information is provided on the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 1
Chemicals used in industry, science and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture and forestry; unprocessed artificial resins, unprocessed plastics; manures; fire extinguishing compositions; tempering and soldering preparations; chemical substances for preserving foodstuffs; tanning substances; adhesives used in industry.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 2
Paints, varnishes, lacquers; preservatives against rust and against deterioration of wood; colorants; mordants; raw natural resins; metals in foil and powder form for painters, decorators, printers and artists.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 3
Bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations; soaps; perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotions; dentifrices.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 4
Industrial oils and greases; lubricants; dust absorbing, wetting and binding compositions; fuels (including motor spirit) and illuminants; candles and wicks for lighting.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 5
Pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic food and substances adapted for medical or veterinary use, food for babies; dietary supplements for humans and animals; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 6
Common metals and their alloys; metal building materials; transportable buildings of metal; materials of metal for railway tracks; non-electric cables and wires of common metal; ironmongery, small items of metal hardware; pipes and tubes of metal; safes; goods of common metal not included in other classes; ores.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 7
Machines and machine tools; motors and engines (except for land vehicles); machine coupling and transmission components (except for land vehicles); agricultural implements other than hand-operated; incubators for eggs; automatic vending machines.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 8
Hand tools and implements (hand-operated); cutlery; side arms; razors.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 9
Scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity; apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; magnetic data carriers, recording discs; compact discs, DVDs and other digital recording media; mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus; cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment, computers; computer software; fire-extinguishing apparatus.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 10
Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary apparatus and instruments, artificial limbs, eyes and teeth; orthopedic articles; suture materials.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 11
Apparatus for lighting, heating, steam generating, cooking, refrigerating, drying, ventilating, water supply and sanitary purposes.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 12
Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 13
Firearms; ammunition and projectiles; explosives; fireworks.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 14
Precious metals and their alloys and goods in precious metals or coated therewith, not included in other classes; jewellery, precious stones; horological and chronometric instruments.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 15
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 16
Paper, cardboard and goods made from these materials, not included in other classes; printed matter; bookbinding material; photographs; stationery; adhesives for stationery or household purposes; artists’ materials; paint brushes; typewriters and office requisites (except furniture); instructional and teaching material (except apparatus); plastic materials for packaging (not included in other classes); printers’ type; printing blocks.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 17
Rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica and goods made from these materials and not included in other classes; plastics in extruded form for use in manufacture; packing, stopping and insulating materials; flexible pipes, not of metal.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 18
Leather and imitations of leather, and goods made of these materials and not included in other classes; animal skins, hides; trunks and travelling bags;
umbrellas and parasols; walking sticks; whips, harness and saddlery.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 19
Building materials (non-metallic); non-metallic rigid pipes for building; asphalt, pitch and bitumen; non-metallic transportable buildings; monuments, not of metal.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 20
Furniture, mirrors, picture frames; goods (not included in other classes) of wood, cork, reed, cane, wicker, horn, bone, ivory, whalebone, shell, amber, mother-of-pearl, meerschaum and substitutes for all these materials, or of plastics.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 21
Household or kitchen utensils and containers; combs and sponges; brushes (except paint brushes); brush-making materials; articles for cleaning purposes; steelwool; unworked or semi-worked glass (except glass used in building); glassware, porcelain and earthenware not included in other classes.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 22
Ropes, string, nets, tents, awnings, tarpaulins, sails, sacks and bags (not included in other classes); padding and stuffing materials (except of rubber or plastics); raw fibrous textile materials.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 23
Yarns and threads, for textile use.
CINTERNATIONAL LASS 24
Textiles and textile goods, not included in other classes; bed covers; table covers.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 25
Clothing, footwear, headgear.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 26
Lace and embroidery, ribbons and braid; buttons, hooks and eyes, pins and needles; artificial flowers.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 27
Carpets, rugs, mats and matting, linoleum and other materials for covering existing floors; wall hangings (non-textile).
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 28
Games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles not included in other classes; decorations for Christmas trees.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 29
Meat, fish, poultry and game; meat extracts; preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies, jams, compotes; eggs; milk and milk products; edible oils and fats.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 30
Coffee, tea, cocoa and artificial coffee; rice; tapioca and sago; flour and preparations made from cereals; bread, pastry and confectionery; ices; sugar, honey, treacle; yeast, baking-powder; salt; mustard; vinegar, sauces (condiments); spices; ice.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 31
Grains and agricultural, horticultural and forestry products not included in other classes; live animals; fresh fruits and vegetables; seeds; natural plants and flowers; foodstuffs for animals; malt.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 32
Beers; mineral and aerated waters and other non-alcoholic beverages; fruit beverages and fruit juices; syrups and other preparations for making beverages.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 33
Alcoholic beverages (except beers).
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 34
Tobacco; smokers’ articles; matches.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 35
Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 36
Insurance; financial affairs; monetary affairs; real estate affairs.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 37
Building construction; repair; installation services.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 38
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 39
Transport; packaging and storage of goods; travel arrangement.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 40
Treatment of materials.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 41
Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 42
Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 43
Services for providing food and drink; temporary accommodation.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 44
Medical services; veterinary services; hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals; agriculture, horticulture and forestry services.
INTERNATIONAL CLASS 45
Legal services; security services for the protection of property and individuals; personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals.