What is a Class in Trademark?
Trademark Class is a classification set by NICE, also known as the International Certification of Products and Services. Trademarks are divided into 45 separate classes. Each category represents a certain group of products and services. When one files their application, they must define the goods or services they provide as well as the class of goods or services their mark will cover. The trademark will only be protected for the goods, services, and classes that are listed in the application.
What is a Trademark
A trademark could be any word, phrase, symbol, design, or combination of these that sets your goods or services apart from others. Consumers utilise it to distinguish one’s products from competitors and recognise themselves in the marketplace. The term “trademark” is used to refer to both trademarks and service marks.
Importance of Trademark Class
Trademark categorisation has two purposes: it acts as a guideline for filing trademarks and can assist in finding potential trademark infringers.
A trademark that is confusingly similar to one that has already been registered will not be accepted for registration by the Trademark Registration Department. In order to prevent a consumer from being confused about the source, they must also apply to related products or services.
The department can find comparable marks that have been registered for relevant goods or services by using the class and description of a product or service. If the products are unrelated, a comparable mark in a specific class won’t always invalidate one’s registration. Trademark classes not only aid in the registration process but also make it simpler for registered trademark owners to track down new trademark applications, find potential infringers, and conduct searches for them.
What if the wrong Trademark Class is chosen
The department has the right to reject the registration if one selects the incorrect trademark class. Additionally, it can land the applicant in legal difficulty after their trademark is approved. They may unintentionally be violating the rights of another party if they use the mark for a class of products or services for which it is not registered. Alternatively, the Department can permit a competitor to register a mark that is identical to theirs in the category they ought to have registered in, granting them superior rights in that class.
The mark holder cannot later change the class under which it was registered. They are also unable to change between goods and services. They will instead need to start anew with a new trademark registration.
Choosing the right trademark class is crucial, but it’s not always simple. A trademark search can help identify any registered marks that may be confusingly similar to the applicant’s mark as well as how similar goods or services have been categorised.