Trademark International Classes: What Are They?

Trademark International Classes categorize the different ways that a trademark is used. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) started using the International classes which are known as Nice Classifications (pronounced "niece", after the city in France for which it is named).

Some of the most common classes include:

List of International Trademark Classes

Since September 1, 1973, the USPTO has used the same standardized categories of goods and services used in most nations around the world. The Nice Agreement outlines this in the International Trademark Classification System. It's also known as the Nice Classification (NCL). This standardized system includes 45 broad categories, with 34 good categories and 11 service categories.

NCL Classes

Class No.

Type

Description of Goods

Class 1

Chemicals

  • Chemicals used in industry, science and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture and forestry
  • Unprocessed artificial resins, unprocessed plastics
  • Manures
  • Fire extinguishing compositions
  • Tempering and soldering preparations
  • Chemical substances for preserving foodstuffs
  • Tanning substances
  • Adhesives used in industry

Class 2

Paints

  • Paints, varnishes, lacquers
  • Preservatives against rust and against deterioration of wood
  • Colorants
  • Mordants
  • Raw natural resins
  • Metals in foil and powder form for painters, decorators, printers and artists

Class 3

Cosmetics and Cleaning Preparations

  • Bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use
  • Cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations
  • Soaps
  • Perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotions
  • Dentifrices

Class 4

Lubricants and Fuels

  • Industrial oils and greases
  • Lubricants
  • Dust absorbing, wetting and binding compositions
  • Fuels (including motor spirit) and illuminants
  • Candles and wicks for lighting.

Class 5

Pharmaceuticals

  • Pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations
  • Sanitary preparations for medical purposes
  • Dietetic substances adapted for medical use, food for babies
  • Plasters, materials for dressings
  • Material for stopping teeth, dental wax
  • Disinfectants
  • Preparations for destroying vermin
  • Fungicides, herbicides

Class 6

Metal Goods

  • Common metals and their alloys
  • Metal building materials
  • Transportable buildings of metal
  • Materials of metal for railway tracks
  • Non-electric cables and wires of common metal
  • Ironmongery, small items of metal hardware
  • Pipes and tubes of metal
  • Safes
  • Goods of common metal not included in other classes
  • Ores.

Class 7

 

  • Machinery

 

 

  • Machines and machine tools
  • Motors and engines (except for land vehicles)
  • Machine coupling and transmission components (except for land vehicles)
  • Agricultural implements other than hand-operated
  • Incubators for eggs.

 

Class 8

Hand Tools

  • Hand tools and implements (hand-operated)
  • Cutlery
  • Side arms
  • Razors

Class 9

Electrical and Scientific Apparatus

  • Scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signaling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments
  • Apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity
  • Apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images
  • Magnetic data carriers, recording discs
  • Automatic vending machines and mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus
  • Cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment and computers
  • Fire-extinguishing apparatus

Class 10

Medical Apparatus

  • Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary apparatus and instruments, artificial limbs, eyes and teeth; orthopedic articles; suture materials.

Class 11

Environmental Control Apparatus

  • Apparatus for lighting, heating, steam generating, cooking, refrigerating, drying, ventilating, water supply and sanitary purposes.

Class 12

Vehicles

  • Vehicles
  • Apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water

Class 13

Firearms

  • Firearms
  • Ammunition and projectiles
  • Explosives
  • Fireworks

Class 14

Jewelry

  • Precious metals and their alloys and goods in precious metals or coated therewith, not included in other classes
  • Jewelry, precious stones
  • Horological and chronometric instruments

Class 15

Musical Instruments

  • Musical instruments.

Class 16

Paper goods and Printed Matter

  • Paper, cardboard and goods made from these materials, not included in other classes
  • Printed matter
  • Bookbinding material
  • Photographs
  • Stationery
  • Adhesives for stationery or household purposes
  • Artists' materials
  • Paint brushes
  • Typewriters and office requisites (except furniture)
  • Instructional and teaching material (except apparatus)
  • Plastic materials for packaging (not included in other classes)
  • Printers' type
  • Printing blocks

Class 17

Rubber Goods

  • Rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica and goods made from these materials and not included in other classes
  • Plastics in extruded form for use in manufacture
  • Packing, stopping and insulating materials
  • Flexible pipes, not of metal

Class 18

Leather Goods

  • Leather and imitations of leather, and goods made of these materials and not included in other classes
  • Animal skins, hides; trunks and travelling bags
  • Umbrellas, parasols and walking sticks
  • Whips, harness and saddlery

Class 19

Nonmetallic Building Materials

  • Building materials (non-metallic)
  • Non-metallic rigid pipes for building
  • Asphalt, pitch and bitumen
  • Non-metallic transportable buildings
  • Monuments, not of metal

Class 20

Furniture and Articles not Otherwise Classified

  • Furniture, mirrors, picture frames
  • Goods (not included in other classes) of wood, cork, reed, cane, wicker, horn, bone, ivory, whalebone, shell, amber, mother-of-pearl, meerschaum and substitutes for all these materials, or of plastics

Class 21

Housewares and Glass

  • Household or kitchen utensils and containers
  • Combs and sponges
  • Brushes (except paint brushes)
  • Brush-making materials
  • Articles for cleaning purposes
  • Steel wool 
  • Unworked or semi-worked glass (except glass used in building)
  • Glassware, porcelain and earthenware not included in other classes

Class 22

Cordage and Fibers

 

  • Ropes, string, nets, tents, awnings, tarpaulins, sails, sacks and bags (not included in other classes)
  • Padding and stuffing materials (except of rubber or plastics)
  • Raw fibrous textile materials

 

Class 23

Yarns and Threads

  • Yarns and threads, for textile use

Class 24

Fabrics

  • Textiles and textile goods, not included in other classes
  • Bed and table covers

Class 25

Clothing

  • Clothing, footwear, headgear

Class 26

Fancy Goods

  • Lace and embroidery, ribbons and braid
  • Buttons, hooks and eyes, pins and needles
  • Artificial flowers

Class 27

Floor Coverings

  • Carpets, rugs, mats and matting, linoleum and other materials for covering existing floors
  • Wall hangings (non-textile)

Class 28

Toys and Sporting Goods

  • Games and playthings
  • Gymnastic and sporting articles not included in other classes
  • Decorations for Christmas trees

Class 29

Meats and Processed Foods

  • Meat, fish, poultry and game
  • Meat extracts
  • Preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables
  • Jellies, jams, compotes
  • Eggs, milk and milk products
  • Edible oils and fats

Class 30

Staple Foods

  • Coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, rice, tapioca, sago, artificial coffee
  • Flour and preparations made from cereals, bread, pastry and confectionery, ices
  • Honey, treacle
  • Yeast, baking-powder
  • Salt, mustard
  • Vinegar, sauces (condiments)
  • Spices
  • Ice

Class 31

Natural Agricultural Products

  • Agricultural, horticultural and forestry products and grains not included in other classes
  • Live animals; fresh fruits and vegetables; seeds, natural plants and flowers; foodstuffs for animals, malt.

Class 32

Light Beverages

  • Beers
  • Mineral and aerated waters and other non-alcoholic drinks
  • Fruit drinks and fruit juices
  • Syrups and other preparations for making beverages

Class 33

Wine and Spirits

  • Alcoholic beverages (except beers)

Class 34

Smokers' Articles

  • Tobacco
  • Smokers' articles
  • Matches

 

NCL Services

Class No.

Type

Description of Services

Class 35

Advertising and Business

  • Advertising
  • Business management
  • Business administration
  • Office functions

Class 36

Insurance and Financial

  • Insurance
  • Financial affairs
  • Monetary affairs
  • Real estate affairs

Class 37

Building Construction and Repair

  • Building construction
  • Repair
  • Installation services

Class 38

Telecommunications

  • Telecommunications

Class 39

Transportation and storage)

  • Transport
  • Packaging and storage of goods; travel arrangement.

Class 40

Treatment of Materials

  • Treatment of materials

Class 41

Education and Entertainment

  • Education
  • Providing of training
  • Entertainment
  • Sporting and cultural activities

Class 42

Computer and Scientific

  • Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto
  • Industrial analysis and research services
  • Design and development of computer hardware and software

Class 43

Hotels and Restaurants

  • Services for providing food and drink
  • Temporary accommodation.

Class 44

Medical, Beauty & Agricultural

  • Medical services
  • Veterinary services
  • Hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals
  • Agriculture, horticulture and forestry services

Class 45

Personal

  • Legal services
  • Security services for the protection of property and individuals
  • Personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals

 

To get a better understanding of a specific class, you can visit the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) website for a List of Goods and Services in Class Order to help you decide what class your product or service falls into. Or you can check out the USPTO Nice Agreement, which lists specific items included in and excluded from each class.

Important Things to Know When Applying for Trademark International Classes

  • You must tell them all the classes you currently use your trademark for and ones you plan to use them for in the future.
  • You cannot register a trademark if you don't have a specific use in mind. You can always add more classes in the future, but you must register its use for at least one.
  • When registering your trademark, do not file under the wrong class. If you do, you risk your application being cancelled without getting your money back.
  • With only 45 classes to identify all goods and services, sometimes two unlikely products get lumped into the same class. Abrasive cleaners and cosmetics, for example, belong to the same class. But since they are marketed in different ways, the likelihood of confusion is small even if the marks are similar.

Examples: What Could Happen When You Do Use Trademark International Classes?

When you use Trademark International Classes to register your trademark, there is a chance it may be confusing. You may have to do some research to figure out which class best fits your product or service.

  • For example, a belt made of woven cord could under Class 22, which includes cordage and fibers, but it isn't. As it turns out, because the cord is made into clothing, it belongs in Class 25.

Similarly, if a mark represents a new of service or product, it may be difficult to decide how to categorize it because that category may not entirely exist yet.

  • For example, if you run an online store that delivers groceries, you will probably want to register in a variety of classes, including International Classes 29 (meats and processed foods), 35 (advertising and business), 9 (electrical and scientific apparatus), and 39 (transportation and storage).

Goods or services that are in the same class are usually considered related. By registering your mark using Trademark International Classes, you protect it within those classes. This is especially true if the use of the same or similar marks within the same class has a high possibility for customer confusion.

It's important to know that the fact that two products or services are in the same or different classes does not mean that they are legally in conflict. The international classification system has put all types of goods and services into 45 classes, combining, for example, abrasive cleansers and cosmetics. Just because they are in the same class does not mean that there is a likelihood of confusion.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What is the Cost to Register Trademark International Classes?

The cost of a trademark will vary depending on which filing option you select. It can be between $225-$325. Expect to pay a separate filing fee for each class you register under.

  • If I Don't Know Which Class to Select, What Should I Do?

If you're not sure which class you fit into, leave the box blank. The person who reviews your application will choose the right one. You can also search the USPTO Website for classification of specific items.

  • How Do I Apply for a Trademark?

Speak to one of our experienced trademark attorneys to get started with your application today.

We recommend allowing an experienced attorney to manage the paperwork and deadlines when registering a trademark. The process can get complicated, not to mention the extensive research needed to make sure no similar trademarks exist. Our high quality lawyers come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience. USPTO fees are not refundable, so trust our experts to help you file properly the first time around. Post your legal need here to get matched with the top 5% of lawyers and save up to 60% on legal fees.