There are good reasons to try and make your brand have a unique identity that is easily identifiable and relatable to the public. Today, with so many established trademarks existing, it is good to have people be able to recognize your brand quickly and easily – just look at major global brands like Coca-Cola or Toyota.
While developing a distinctive trademark is a creative process involving different aspects of a brand, owning the trademark is usually where things become a bit tricky. Legally registering your trademark is ideal since it becomes the sole property of your brand.
Classification of Trademarks
The International Classification of Goods and Services was established in 1957 by the Nice Agreement. The main purpose of this body is to register international brands, uphold brand identities and prevent the inappropriate use of trademarks. It is important to note that this agreement protects all international trademarks, ensuring, to the best of their ability, that no two brands will are identical.
According to the Nice Classification List, there are 45 categories under which you can register your trademark. The categories are also referred to as classes, and they represent the various industries of the world. By doing this brand owners find it much easier to register their trademark. Having said this, it takes more than just identifying your industry to find the appropriate registration class for your trademark.
Selecting the Appropriate Class for Your Trademark
To properly register your trademark, you will want to make sure that it fully protects and represents your brand. You can achieve this by:
- Identifying Your Purpose: You will have to list down all kinds of products and services your brand offers or is associated with. That way, you can quickly know the class or classes under which you should register your trademark. If you are selling men’s trousers, for example, you will want to register under Class 25, which is for clothes and footwear. This will leave you with room to expand to other fashion ventures like producing dresses and shirts without needing to register the trademark under another class.
- Study and Understand the Nice Classification List: Even though the Nice International List looks straightforward it is a lot more involving than you think. You might need someone with prior knowledge about the list to make sure nothing is overlooked or wrongly classified from the list. For example, if you were to register a trademark for your beer brand, you may opt for Class 32 which is for wines and spirits since beer is an alcoholic drink. However, beer is categorized under Class 33 as it is considered a non-alcoholic beverage by the Nice Classification List.
- Trademark Representation; the Company or Single Product/Service: Here is where most people go wrong when registering their trademarks: Clearly classifying what their trademark represents. In many cases, the company trademark usually falls under a different class to the products or services it offers. For example, if you have a building and construction company, you will register it under class 37. If the company also manufactures building materials and you want to register the trademark, you will do it under Class 19, which is for building materials.
- Register your Product or Service, not Raw Materials: Another big mistake many people do is registering raw materials as their products without the mindset of leaving room for expansion. What they fail to realize at the time is that there are classes for raw materials and then classes for finished goods and services. Registering your trademark under Class 23 for yarn and thread is wrong if you are selling fabrics or embroidery which fall into classes 24 and 26 respectively.
Trademark Experts at Your Service
We at Farahat & Co can assist you in Classifying your Trademark and our highly qualified team can guide you through the process. Additionally, the fact that we are well-versed in UAE law ensures that we have you covered in all aspects.
So feel free to call to make a booking or simply have some of your initial questions answered.