When you go into business, odds are there will eventually be something you want to protect and claim as your own. Whether it’s an advertising jingle, a logo for your brand, eventually you could be in need of a trade mark to guarantee that no one else will profit from your success. But, there are different trademark classes so it’s important you are protected with the right one.
It’s a lesson that is learned the hard way by plenty of entrepreneurs, who “get famous first” then have to rush to protect their creations before a herd of copycats, imitators, and downright thieves swarms down on them. While the public may think of trade marks as the simple process of getting that “™” affixed to your brand, it’s quite a bit more complicated than all that.
In this blog post, we’re lifting the lid on trademarks and trademark classes so you know exactly what you expect when you file for a trademark.
Trademark Classes System
When you go to register something in the UK or EU, you’ll find that you have to designate what your trade mark item is. This means being filed in one more of 45 existing classes of trade marks. Of the 45, 34 pertain to goods and the other 11 to services.
Depending on what your trade mark is, it could fall into several classes. It’s up to you, hopefully with legal advice, to determine just what those classes are to avoid being taken advantage of.
Classes of goods range from paper and cardboard to data processing equipment, while services include everything from providing of entertainment to business administration.To help determine what class(es) your trade marks could cover, you need to define your product or service as clearly as possible by asking yourself questions like: “What activities are involved in this service?” or “What is the purpose of the goods I’m providing?”
These answers will help establish the sometimes tricky questions and make clear what areas of the trade mark classes apply to you. You can see an extensive range of trademark classes here by London IP.
Doing It Wrong: Choosing The Right Trademark Classes
Three things can happen when you mistakenly file for a trade mark that doesn’t apply to your company. The first is fairly simple, you’ll be wasting your own money, specifically $50 for each rejected trade mark class.
If you trade mark an item and then don’t use said item, you can be subject to claims of non-use from third parties and potentially lose that trade mark.
If you trade mark items and then don’t ever do business under those items, you risk being branded a trade mark troll. These trolls are so named because they rapidly trade mark multiple items in conjunction to a new trend, popular item, or recent discovery in order to capitalise off using the trade mark as a bartering tool.
For instance, if life was suddenly discovered on Mars and you trade marked Life on Mars under various colour schemes despite running a watch repair firm, you would be seen as a trade mark troll. This practice is on the rise, at least in the US, where the number of trolls jumped from 1,401 to 2005 to 5,842 in 2011.
Final Words On Trademarks And Trademark Classes
You can register for both EU and UK trademarks online, but it’s definitely smart to contact an a trademark lawyer first to ensure you’re on the right path. If you’d us to get you free quotes from qualified and vetted trademark lawyers then click the image below.