How to select a trademark class
So, you’re ready to register your trademark? You’ve made the right decision. The decision to protect your brand and all the hard work you’ve put into your business – now and in the future.
One of the most crucial steps in the registration process is to choose the right trademark class or classes for the goods and/or services you sell. This can be a confusing process, so Lawbase has put together a few important points on selecting the correct trademark class for your trademark. You need to get it right the first time, as once your application for trademark registration is lodged, you can’t add any further classes to it.
What are trademark classes?
Trademark classes are designed to classify the range of goods and services in the marketplace, and provides the ability to assess whether a trademark infringement has occurred. It has been determined that there are 45 classes of goods and services: Classes 1 -34 cover goods and 35-45 cover services.
What to consider when choosing a trademark class
The first step is to identify whether your trademark applies to a good, which is a physical product, or a service, which is an activity which you perform for a customer. In some cases, your trademark may apply to both goods and services, and it’s critical that you identify this in order to choose the right trademark classes.
You may think that registering with a wide raft of classes will give you greater protection, but it’s not a simple as that. This will not only waste your money if you register within a class that you don’t use, you may also lose your registration. Registering your trademark is to prevent your competition from using your trademark so it isn’t fair on other businesses if you register for a class in which you will never trade!
Also, it’s vital to note that the more classes you apply for, the more you pay, so it makes sense to only apply for classes which apply to your business.
What’s the difference between the pick-list and a custom description?
IP Australia has a range of useful information about selecting the right trademark classes, including a tool called the pick-list. This tool sets out a list of goods and services that come under each of the 45 classes.
While this is no doubt a useful tool, we’d like to point out that the pick-list is by no means definitive and may not cover the goods and services which define your business. It’s based on a ‘one size fits all’ approach, which works well for some people, but may not suit your business and could result in unsatisfactory protection for your trademark.
A custom descriptionon the other hand, is a highly specified description which accurately defines the activity of your business. If the pick-list doesn’t list the goods and services that apply to you, then a custom description is the only way to ensure you are fully protected.
A document like a custom descriptionrequires careful drafting, so it’s recommended you see a trademarking lawyer for assistance with this process. A trademarking lawyer will craft this description specifically for your business, ensuring you are not only successful in getting registered, but that you also have full protection against infringement.
Lawbase are well-versed with trademarking law in Australia, and we assist businesses with trademark registration, to ensure the process runs smoothly. Contact us today to ensure that your business is protected now and in the future.