Can I Register a Trademark in More Than One Class?

Have you ever gone to register your trademark and been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of classes that you can choose from when registering your mark? Well the good news is that you can register your trademark in more than one class and in doing so give your trademark better protection.

When registering a trademark you must register it in a particular class or classes. IP Australia divides trademark registration into 45 different classes 34 to goods and 11 to services.

Why is Classification Relevant to my Product?

Even if you’re looking to trademark something as simple as the logo of your new cafe, your trademark will be able to be registered across multiple classes. Although it may appear that your cafe only engages in the provision of services and there is no need to trademark under other classes, this is seldom the case.

The name of the cafe itself will be registered under class 43 (services for providing food and drink). However, your business may consider using your trademark to brand other goods and services associated with your cafe. For example, you may choose to use a logo on your coffee cups, and sell them that sweet extra profit. This would be registrable under class 3. You may even wish to trademark the unique scent of your brew. Yes you can trademark scents under class 3.

All of these activities, although associated with your cafe, will be registrable under separate categories. This knowledge is essential as it can help you protect your brand further down the track.

Why is Registering in More than one Class Important?

Firstly, registering your trademark across a number of relevant classes can give your trademark extra protection in the event that someone opposes your trademark. For example, if you register a trademark and it is opposed by another trader who operates in a considerably different field and their mark is registered in an unrelated class to yours, the scope for finding that your trademark has infringed theirs is limited. This occurs because your mark will be protected in the classes that it is registered. Fundamentally, the more classes your mark is registered in the more protection it will have. For example, if you register a coffee company under the mark ‘common ground’ is it unlikely that a trader operating a soil dredging business will be able to claim that your mark is ‘deceptively similar’ to theirs even if they use a similar name.

Secondly, you cannot alter your trademark application after it has been filed with IP Australia. This means that if you register your trademark in only one class you will not be able to apply for that trademark to be registered in another class further down the track. It is therefore important to consider each and every class that is relevant to the goods and services associated with your trademark.

How Do I Know What Classes my Trademark Will Come Under?

It is not an easy endeavour to understand and remember each and every trademark category that IP Australia offers. However, using the Trademarks Classification Search tool on IP Australia’s website is an easy way to understand the classes that your trademark will be associated with. For example, if running a cafe you could simply search ‘coffee’ and in a separate search ‘cafe’ and you become aware of the 11 total categories that your brew may be able to be registered under.

Trademarks are an essential way to protect the reputation and goodwill of your brand. LawPath offers a trademark application service that will produce fixed fee quotes with a fast turn around.

Still unsure what classifications are relevant to your trademark? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to get fixed price quotes to get advice from an experienced lawyer or patent attorney specific to your needs.

Matthew Jessup

Matthew Jessup

Matthew is paralegal at LawPath and is completing his final year of a bachelor of Laws combined with Political Science at Macquarie University. With a keen interest in IP law, Matthew helps startups understand the ins and outs of trademark registration, protection and enforcement.