Use the pick list to select your classes
The pick list makes it easier to choose the appropriate classes of goods and services for your trade mark, reducing the chances of making a mistake.
It's also cheaper to use the pick list, since a discount applies, and it calculates the cost as you go so you know how much it will cost straight away.
Top tips for picking trade mark classes and items
What products and services do you provide?
- If you produce goods — pick between Classes 1 to 34
- If you provide a service — choose from Classes 35 to 45.
But if you provide both goods and services, you'll need to pick from both class listings.
What's your core business? Do you need to protect the goods you sell as well as the services you offer? Are they your goods to protect, or are they another business’ responsibility?
Let’s imagine you’re a hairdresser. Clearly, you want to cover your salon and the services you provide with your trade mark, so you choose the appropriate hairdressing services in Class 44.
But what about the products you sell in your salon? You derive income from selling these as well, so should you also select hair products under goods?
The answer depends on whether you make the hair products yourself, or if you’re selling someone else’s products. If you provide hairdressing services and produce your own range of hair products then yes, choose both: hairdressing services in Class 44 and appropriate hair products in Class 3. You'll want these proprietary goods covered by trade mark protection as well as your services.
But if, like many hairdressers, you only sell products produced by other companies, you don’t need to protect them with your trade mark because these products aren't part of your brand. The company that produces that hair product will be protecting their brand themselves. If selling hair products forms an important part of your business however, you may also wish to protect 'retail services' in class 35, in addition to protecting your core hairdressing services in Class 44.
You might find that variations of a word will help you find the right class of goods and services. For example, if you're a builder, you could search ‘builder’, ‘building’ or simply ‘build’ to bring up more options of classes.
Similarly, if you work with IT as your core business, you might try searching for ‘computers’, ‘computing’ or even ‘programming’ to narrow down to the right class.
It’s important to select goods and services that aren't too specific, so that you have some room for future expansion.
For example, if you produce memory foam mattress toppers, you won't find an entry that specific in the pick list, and a trade mark for that product alone wouldn't protect you for any other bedding you might make.
Instead, make a broader choice such as ‘bedding’ which is in Class 24, and then choose appropriate items such as ‘bed coverings’. This will allow you to protect similar products you might produce in future.
Once you've chosen the class for your trade mark, you still have to select the appropriate items within that class. Classes are broad, so you must further specify the items in that class you wish to protect. Then your application will only apply to those items.
You produce acrylic false nails. You use the pick list and find out that you should choose Class 3 to protect your brand. You tick the item acrylic false nails. But there are dozens of other items in Class 3 including aerosol hairspray and carpet shampoos. Don’t tick those items. You're specifically choosing to apply your trade mark to Class 3 acrylic false nails, not all of the others.
While you do need to make sure that you select classes that cover the key components of your business, you don’t need to pick classes to cover the internal business functions that you carry out.
If you run a physiotherapy clinic, you'll need to select physiotherapy in Class 44 — it's your key service. You don’t need to add other activities that you do in the running of your business such as advertising, maintaining a website and recruiting staff. These are incidental to your core purpose and common to most businesses.
Sometimes people wonder if they need to select additional classes to cover all of the branded promotional items that they give out to advertise their business. These might be coffee cups or pens or calendars with a logo on them.
You don’t need to select additional classes to cover branded promotional items that feature your logo, such as pens in Class 16. Cover your core goods and services only.
Virtual goods, metaverse, NFTs and blockchain
We've observed a surge in trade mark applications relating to:
- Virtual goods
This guidance aims to clarify our practice relating to the classification of these emerging technologies in trade mark applications. This guidance is also found in Part 14 of the trade marks manual.