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Understanding the NICE classification for your trademarks

Updated: Nov 7, 2021

Before filing a trademark application with the USPTO (or any trademark office), you must comply with specific filing requirements. One of them is the classification of goods and/or services based on the NICE classification. What is a class and why is it important? Well, in layman terms, a class is merely a category of goods and/or services. Trademark registration protects your trademark mainly for the class and list of goods/ services registered (although related classes are also relevant).

In general, there are 45 classes of goods and/or services for which your trademark application could be filed. 34 classes pertain to goods sold to consumers in US commerce and 11 pertain to services offered to consumers in US commerce. So, how do you assess or figure out which class applies to your trademark? One way is to search the identification manual ID) at the USPTO based on certain keywords, e.g. clothing, computer software, jewelry, skincare, educational services, and in doing so, a list of acceptable descriptions and the relevant class would be revealed.


Classification is important because it is the goods/services you are protecting your trademark for. If you do not get the classification and list of goods/services correct or accurate at the time of filing, for example, you misclassified or excluded an important description or class, then your trademark protection would be limited or non-existent, which means you might have to file a new application with the correct class and, list of goods/services (forgoing the application and money already spent).


If you have questions about registering your trademark and classification and would like us to help you, click here to write to us for a fee quote or schedule a short call with one of our trademark attorneys. For small businesses and startups, we offer a special consultation rate, so get in touch with us today.


But if you’re looking for help getting your brand protected, we’d love to give you your free call with one of our strategic advisors who will walk you through the options, answer all your questions, and help you get started if there’s a good fit.


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