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Trade Mark classification


Lawdit Solicitors - Expert Author

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6 March 2009

Section 34 of the Trade Marks Act 1994 provides that goods and services are to be classified for the purposes of registration, according to a prescribed system of classification.

This prescribed classification system is based on an international system adopted in Nice, France, in 1957, and has 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services.

You may register your trade mark in a number of classes. The Registrar will resolve any questions with regard to how your goods/services should be classified. When the drafted trade mark specification is presented to the UK IPO Examiner they will examine the specification of goods/services relates to the correct classes, suggesting further classes when and if required. This may be resolved by amendment of the specification and/or addition of new classes.

The classification is mostly administrative, to facilitate the searching of marks for earlier registrations. Just because a competitor is using your mark on goods/services in a different class to from those you have registered in does not necessarily mean that they are not using the mark on identical or similar goods/services. That is, they may still be found to be infringing your mark.

The specification helps to define the boundaries of the monopoly rights conferred by the trade mark so must b e correctly drafted. The UK IPO will not allow terms such as "all the goods in class x" whereas the Office of Harmonisation of Internal Markets (in relation to Community trade marks) is more disposed to this, as there is no use requirement

Tim Mount is a trainee solicitor at Lawdit Solicitors, and can be contacted at

About the Author

Lawdit Solicitors offer services and advice for litigation, commercial contracts, Intellectual Property and IT legal agreements. We are experts in commercial law with a heavy emphasis on Intellectual Property, Internet and e-commerce law. Lawdit is a member of the International Trademark Association, the Solicitors' Association of Higher Court Advocates and we are the appointed Solicitors to the largest webdesign association in the world, the United Kingdom Website Designers Association.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2009-03-08 15:33:09 in Legal Articles

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