1. Check Trademarks
2. Trademark Classes
3. Trademark Already Being Used

Check Trademarks

If you need to check trademarks, you’ll want to run the search before you try to obtain trademark protection on your mark. This search is important so that you don’t infringe upon anyone else’s trademark rights. If you don’t find anything on prior trademarks registered, you’ll still want to run a search in the public domain as any mark being used does in fact have common law protection. Therefore, if you run a search and clearly see that your mark is already in use, then you cannot use it. Specifically, there are 45 unique trademark classes that are identified in the NICE classification for trademark, which can be found on the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website. Each trademark class represents a different set of goods and services.

Trademark Classes

  • Class 1. Chemicals used in various industries, including, but not limited to, the science, photography, and agricultural industries. Also included in this class are unprocessed plastics and chemical substances for preserving foods.

  • Class 2. Paints, rust prevention products, metals to be used in painters, colorants, etc.

  • Class 3. Bleaching items and other products used to do laundry. Also included are cleaning and polishing items, soaps, cosmetics, hair products, and the like.

  • Class 4. Lubricants, fuels, candles, wicks, etc.

  • Class 5. Veterinary products, sanitation products, baby food, disinfectants, and the like.

  • Class 6. Metals and alloys, building materials, hardware, pipes/tubing.

  • Class 7. Machine tools, transmission components. Agricultural products (exclusive of hand-operated equipment and egg incubators).

  • Class 8. Hand tools, razors, and cutlery.

  • Class 9. Recording and transmitting sounds or imaging, data processing, computer equipment.

  • Class 10. Surgical and medical instruments, suture items, dental equipment, artificial body parts (including legs, arms, eyes, teeth, etc.)

  • Class 11. Lighting, heating, and cooking products.

  • Class 12. Vehicles and other items for use in transporting – i.e. land, air, water.

  • Class 13. Firearms, ammunition, explosives, etc.

  • Class 14. Precious metals/alloys, including items used in jewelry.

  • Class 15. Musical instruments are patented in this class.

  • Class 16. Paper and cardboard items, stationary, office supplies, printing materials, and any type of product made from paper or cardboard material.

  • Class 17. Rubber and other related goods that are used in flexible piping and packaging.

  • Class 18. Leather materials, including animal skin, to be used in handbags, umbrellas, and other related products.

  • Class 19. Building materials that are non-metal and rigid piping that is non-flexible.

  • Class 20. Items used in furniture, picture frames, and other home goods

  • Class 21. Household or kitchen utensils and storage containers, glassware, items used for cleaning, i.e. sponges, etc.

  • Class 22. Ropes, string, tents, and the like.

  • Class 23. Yarn and thread, i.e. textiles

  • Class 24. Other textiles, including bedding.

  • Class 25. Clothing, shoes, accessories.

  • Class 26. Lace, ribbons, buttons, and other similar items.

  • Class 27. Carpets, rugs, and other material for flooring.

  • Class 28. Games, sporting items, decorations for Christmas trees.

  • Class 29. Meat, fish, chicken, preserved fruits and vegetables, eggs, milk products.

  • Class 30. Coffee, tea, bread, pastry items, condiments, including salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard, ketchup, etc.

  • Class 31. Agricultural products and grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, flowers.

  • Class 32. Beer, non-alcoholic drinks, fruit juices, syrups.

  • Class 33. Alcoholic beverage (excludes beer).

  • Class 34. Tobacco and other smoking articles, inclusive of matches.

  • Class 35. Advertising, business-related functions.

  • Class 36. Insurance, financial assistance, including real estate matters.

  • Class 37. Repair and installation services.

  • Class 38. Telecommunications.

  • Class 39. Transport, packaging of goods.

  • Class 40. Treatment of materials.

  • Class 41. Educational materials, training, entertainment, etc.

  • Class 42. Scientific and technological services, design of computer hardware and software applications.

  • Class 43. Services pertaining to food and drink, along with temporary accommodations, i.e. hotel and motel stays.

  • Class 44. Medical and veterinary services, other beauty products, hygienic products for both humans and animals.

  • Class 45. Legal services, security services (protection of property and people), personal and social services.

Trademark Already Being Used

If, prior to obtaining protection over your mark, you identify that the mark is already protected and is being used by someone else, then they have priority. You cannot seek protection over that mark or even use that mark. Furthermore, even if that person or business doesn’t have official trademark protection, they do in fact have common law protection. Therefore, you cannot use that mark if you run a search in the public domain and find out that the mark is being used. This common law usage can also help you. If you begin using your mark, but don’t have official trademark protection, you still have common law protection. Therefore, anyone else beginning to use your mark can be found guilty of infringement if that person knows or should have known that the mark is already being used.

If you need help with filing for trademark protection or searching prior trademarks, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel’s marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.