What are the Classes of Good and Services and How to Identify Goods and Services in a Trademark Application
As part of the trademark application process at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), trademark applicants are required to identify and list all the goods and/or services they are seeking a federal trademark registration for. An issue that often confuses trademark applicants is the trademark classification system of goods and services, and how the classification system affects the filing strategy for trademark applicants. In addition, applicants are often unsure what goods and services should be included in their trademark application.
Trademark Classes of Goods and Services at the USPTO
In total, there are 45 classes of goods and services at the USPTO that cover all goods and services. Classes 1 to 34 cover all goods and classes 35 to 45 cover all services. The classes are arranged, for the most part, into groupings that make sense. For example, clothing, apparel, footwear and related goods fall under Class 25 and retail store services, such as Macy’s or Amazon, fall under Class 35.
A common misunderstanding for trademark applicants is that one trademark application, and therefore only one fee to the USPTO, is required to receive full trademark protection. However, the USPTO requires a fee for each class of goods and/or services that the trademark applicant files for. For example, a company that offers both goods and services, such as NIKE, which sells apparel and also has many outlet stores will seek trademark registrations in Class 25 for their apparel and footwear, as well as in Class 35 to protect the NIKE trademark in connection with their outlet stores. Therefore, NIKE would need to pay two fees to cover the two classes in the one trademark application.
An example of a Nike trademark registration in multiple classes, i.e. Classes 18, 25, 28, 35, and 41
For some applicants who have a specific budget for a trademark application, it may make sense to apply for a trademark application for their core goods or services in only one class, even if they have goods or services in other classes. This will help keep their costs down due to the USPTO requiring trademark application fees for each class of goods and services applied for.
Identifying Goods and Services in a Trademark Application
When identifying the goods and/or services in a trademark application, the USPTO offers an online goods and services manual that allows users to search for goods and services that are acceptable at the USPTO. In addition to the acceptable goods and services listed in the trademark identification manual, applicants can manually write in their specific goods and/or services. The manual entries are help applicants with new goods or services, however, an Trademark Examining Attorney at the USPTO is likely to skeptical of manual entries, and may ask for clarification about the goods/services entry delaying the application process.
The searchable Trademark ID Manual Search feature can be found here
When it comes to identifying the goods and/or services in a trademark application, there are generally two schools of thought about how specific to be. Some trademark attorneys advise clients to use broad identifications such as “shirts,” while other advise to use narrow and specific identifications such as “long sleeved shirts, short sleeve shirts, t-shirts, moisture wicking shirts, etc…” Both strategies present pros and cons, but at Granite Trademark Services, we believe the best practice is to do both. In other words, we believe applicants should broadly list the goods or services, such as “shirts” and to list more specific examples of the kinds of shirts offered, e.g. “long sleeved shirts, short sleeve shirts, t-shirts, moisture wicking shirts, etc…” This way trademark applicants will receive both protection of listing broad categories of goods or services as well as get the added benefits of listing specific goods or services the trademark is used in connection with.
A search of the ID Manual for "shirts" comes up with 99 results, often confusing applicants about what to pick. Our recommendation as a best practice is to pick all the styles of shirts you sell.
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