A trade mark will be registered into one or more of 45 classifications of goods and services, which determine what areas of business the trade mark will receive protection in. The trade mark will be registered within that class, and be able to stop subsequent registrations of similar or identical business names. The class system allows similar business names, but within totally different business area’s to coexists with both owning a trade mark, as a customer would not get confused between a window company named “sky” and the tv company. The Nice classification list is used throughout the world in the main, with the first 34 classifications are related to goods, and the remaining 11 are for services. It is important to select the right classifications from the outset, and consider any possible future business expansion, as once an application has been made, it may not be amended.
Within each classification, there are further “sub categories” of goods and services that narrow down which particular activities the business does. In class 25 of clothing, these would be everything from shoes, hats, t-shirts, shorts etc which can be covered. It would therefore be possible for instance for two fictional clothing companies named “Jones” for instance to hold a trade mark, with the first covering hats, and the second covering shoes, as long as one does not sell the others products. There can be thousands of these sub categories in each classification, so ensuring the right ones are selected are crucial to ensure you get the protection your business deserves.
Unless your company has business activities in all 45 classes, the you shouldn’t. If you have a trade mark for classifications you are not using in your business, then your trade mark would be open to be attacked for “non use” and you would risk losing the entire trade mark. In the UK, each classification costs an additional £50, which would total an additional £2200. In some countries, this figure is significantly higher, potentially making a trade mark extremely expensive. Cost aside,