What are international classes (and why are they so important)?

Trademark Law0 comments

Delta Faucets and Delta Airlines.

How is it possible for two IDENTICAL marks (Delta) to be successfully registered as trademarks in the United States?

It’s because of their classes.

In the US, you can file a trademark registration application with the USPTO in 45 different classes.

And your trademark will only be protected in the class or classes it’s registered in.

This means more than one brand can have the same mark as long as it’s for different goods or services.

Just like Delta Airlines and Delta Faucets.

That’s why international class selection is no small thing.

**But before we dive in: this post is legal education and information, not business, financial, or legal advice, and it doesn’t create an attorney-client relationship between us. 

This is also an attorney communication under Rule 7.2 of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California and Business and Professions Code Sections 6157-6159.2.

Please chat with an attorney in your area to make sure you’re protecting your business.**

45 International Classes

The 45 different international classes help distinguish types of trademark usage (and make it easier to identify potential infringement).

Classes 1-34 are goods.

Classes 35-45 are services.


  1. Chemicals for use in industry, science and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture and forestry; unprocessed artificial resins, unprocessed plastics; fire extinguishing and fire prevention compositions; tempering and soldering preparations; substances for tanning animal skins and hides; adhesives for use in industry; putties and other paste fillers; compost, manures, fertilizers; biological preparations for use in industry and science.
  1. Paints, varnishes, lacquers; preservatives against rust and against deterioration of wood; colorants, dyes; inks for printing, marking and engraving; raw natural resins; metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and art.
  1. Non-medicated cosmetics and toiletry preparations; non-medicated dentifrices; perfumery, essential oils; bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing and abrasive preparations.
  1. Industrial oils and greases, wax; lubricants; dust absorbing, wetting and binding compositions; fuels and illuminants; candles and wicks for lighting.
  1. Pharmaceuticals, medical and veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic food and substances adapted for medical or veterinary use, food for babies; dietary supplements for human beings and animals; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides.
  1. Common metals and their alloys, ores; metal materials for building and construction; transportable buildings of metal; non-electric cables and wires of common metal; small items of metal hardware; metal containers for storage or transport; safes.
  1. Machines, machine tools, power-operated tools; motors and engines, except for land vehicles; machine coupling and transmission components, except for land vehicles; agricultural implements, other than hand-operated hand tools; incubators for eggs; automatic vending machines.
  1. Hand tools and implements, hand-operated; cutlery; side arms, except firearms; razors.
  1. Scientific, research, navigation, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, audiovisual, optical, weighing, measuring, signaling, detecting, testing, inspecting, life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling the distribution or use of electricity; apparatus and instruments for recording, transmitting, reproducing or processing sound, images or data; recorded and downloadable media, computer software, blank digital or analogue recording and storage media; mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus; cash registers, calculating devices; computers and computer peripheral devices; diving suits, divers’ masks, ear plugs for divers, nose clips for divers and swimmers, gloves for divers, breathing apparatus for underwater swimming; fire-extinguishing apparatus.
  1. Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary apparatus and instruments; artificial limbs, eyes and teeth; orthopedic articles; suture materials; therapeutic and assistive devices adapted for persons with disabilities; massage apparatus; apparatus, devices and articles for nursing infants; sexual activity apparatus, devices and articles.
  1. Apparatus and installations for lighting, heating, cooling, steam generating, cooking, drying, ventilating, water supply and sanitary purposes.
  1. Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water.
  1. Firearms; ammunition and projectiles; explosives; fireworks.
  1. Precious metals and their alloys; jewelry, precious and semi-precious stones; horological and chronometric instruments.
  1. Musical instruments; music stands and stands for musical instruments; conductors’ batons.
  1. Paper and cardboard; printed matter; bookbinding material; photographs; stationery and office requisites, except furniture; adhesives for stationery or household purposes; drawing materials and materials for artists; paintbrushes; instructional and teaching materials; plastic sheets, films and bags for wrapping and packaging; printers’ type, printing blocks.
  1. Unprocessed and semi-processed rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica and substitutes for all these materials; plastics and resins in extruded form for use in manufacture; packing, stopping and insulating materials; flexible pipes, tubes and hoses, not of metal.
  1. Leather and imitations of leather; animal skins and hides; luggage and carrying bags; umbrellas and parasols; walking sticks; whips, harness and saddlery; collars, leashes and clothing for animals.
  1. Materials, not of metal, for building and construction; rigid pipes, not of metal, for building; asphalt, pitch, tar and bitumen; transportable buildings, not of metal; monuments, not of metal.
  1. Furniture, mirrors, picture frames; containers, not of metal, for storage or transport; unworked or semi-worked bone, horn, whalebone or mother-of-pearl; shells; meerschaum; yellow amber.
  1. Household or kitchen utensils and containers; cookware and tableware, except forks, knives and spoons; combs and sponges; brushes, except paintbrushes; brush-making materials; articles for cleaning purposes; unworked or semi-worked glass, except building glass; glassware, porcelain and earthenware.
  1. Ropes and string; nets; tents and tarpaulins; awnings of textile or synthetic materials; sails; sacks for the transport and storage of materials in bulk; padding, cushioning and stuffing materials, except of paper, cardboard, rubber or plastics; raw fibrous textile materials and substitutes therefor.
  1. Yarns and threads for textile use.
  1. Textiles and substitutes for textiles; household linen; curtains of textile or plastic.
  1. Clothing, footwear, headwear.
  1. Lace, braid and embroidery, and haberdashery ribbons and bows; buttons, hooks and eyes, pins and needles; artificial flowers; hair decorations; false hair.
  1. Carpets, rugs, mats and matting, linoleum and other materials for covering existing floors; wall hangings, not of textile.
  1. Games, toys and playthings; video game apparatus; gymnastic and sporting articles; decorations for Christmas trees.
  1. Meat, fish, poultry and game; meat extracts; preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies, jams, compotes; eggs; milk, cheese, butter, yogurt and other milk products; oils and fats for food.
  1. Coffee, tea, cocoa and substitutes therefor; rice, pasta and noodles; tapioca and sago; flour and preparations made from cereals; bread, pastries and confectionery; chocolate; ice cream, sorbets and other edible ices; sugar, honey, treacle; yeast, baking-powder; salt, seasonings, spices, preserved herbs; vinegar, sauces and other condiments; ice (frozen water).
  1. Raw and unprocessed agricultural, aquacultural, horticultural and forestry products; raw and unprocessed grains and seeds; fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs; natural plants and flowers; bulbs, seedlings and seeds for planting; live animals; foodstuffs and beverages for animals; malt.
  1. Beers; non-alcoholic beverages; mineral and aerated waters; fruit beverages and fruit juices; syrups and other preparations for making non-alcoholic beverages.
  1. Alcoholic beverages, except beers; alcoholic preparations for making beverages.
  1. Tobacco and tobacco substitutes; cigarettes and cigars; electronic cigarettes and oral vaporizers for smokers; smokers’ articles; matches.


  1. Advertising; business management, organization and administration; office functions.
  1. Financial, monetary and banking services; insurance services; real estate services.
  1. Construction services; installation and repair services; mining extraction, oil and gas drilling.
  1. Telecommunications services.
  1. Transport; packaging and storage of goods; travel arrangement.
  1. Treatment of materials; recycling of waste and trash; air purification and treatment of water; printing services; food and drink preservation.
  1. Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities.
  1. Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis, industrial research and industrial design services; quality control and authentication services; design and development of computer hardware and software.
  1. Services for providing food and drink; temporary accommodation.
  1. Medical services; veterinary services; hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals; agriculture, aquaculture, horticulture and forestry services.
  1. Legal services; security services for the physical protection of tangible property and individuals; dating services, online social networking services; funerary services; babysitting.

Not sure where your mark fits?

You can search your goods or services to see what classes they fall into with suggested descriptions in the Trademark ID Manual.

Selecting your international class

Most brands will fall into multiple classes.

And you want to be careful which classes you choose.

Or you could find that your registered trademark actually isn’t as protected as you believed.

For example

An online coach might assume that Class 41 is the only class they need to register for their coaching and speaking services.

But if that coach also has an e-commerce store with merchandise and a downloadable podcast, they could be found to be infringing on someone else with their mark unless they also registered in the appropriate classes for all of their activities. 

Cover yourself with the right international class(es)

There are many reasons your trademark application could be refused, and you can add misfiling to the list.

And if your application is refused because you misfiled, you don’t get your filing fees back.

Don’t waste your hard-earned money or your time.

Work with a trademark attorney who can ensure you select the proper classes and include an accurate description of the goods and services that will be covered.

Reach out if you’re ready to get started.


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I’m Nicole.

I understand both the legal world and the online business world and can bridge the gap for entrepreneurs that want to ensure all of their ducks are in a nice, neat row. Let’s protect your business so you can build your empire.

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