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Choosing the right goods and services for your trademark application

Updated: Mar 26

The goods and services descriptions/specifications you claim in your trademark application defines the scope of protection for your mark.

To get the right level of protection, the description you choose should accurately reflect the scope of the products or services you sell.

You can also claim G&S which you haven't used the mark for yet when you apply to register it, provided that you have an intention to provide those products or services under in the future.

A business owner checking inventory
The goods and services description in your trademark application should accurately reflect the goods and services you sell under your trademark

A class-based system

What are trademark classes?

The specifications you can choose for a trademark application are split into 45 classes - classes 1 to 34 are for goods and 35 to 45 are for services.

This system is called the Nice classification, and it is the same system used for TMs in most countries around the world.

What classes should I choose?

When you file your application, you should choose the classes which are relevant to the G&S you provide under the mark.

If you're using the IP Australia picklist, it will show you which classes are right for the G&S you're selecting.

If you're entering the description manually, you'll need to make sure the G&S are recorded against the correct classes. Otherwise, you might need to pay additional fees during examination of the application to add new classes to the application.

A man walks through a clothing store
If you're selling clothing, you should add "clothing" to your goods description which falls under class 25

Popular classes

Nice Class

Summary of coverage

Class 9

Technology and electrical apparatus; software and scientific equipment.

Class 16

Paper goods, printed matter, office supplies, and stationery.

Class 25

Apparel, including clothing, footwear, and headgear.

Class 35

Advertising, business management, retail, and office functions

Class 42

R&D, and software development.

Choosing the right description for your application

How do I choose the goods and services to include?

When you file your application, the easiest way to choose your G&S is to select them from a set list, which IP Australia calls the "picklist".

Read our guide for more information on how to file a trademark application in Australia.

What are the benefits of using the picklist?

The benefits from using the picklist include:

  1. The filing fee payable to IP Australia is less when you use the picklist compared with entering the description manually.

  2. All entries on the picklist are pre-approved, which means you won't run into issues with your description during examination of your application.

A person fills out a trademark application using a tablet and IP Australia's picklist
Using IP Australia's picklist can save you time and money

Should I use the picklist?

The picklist is usually suitable for most trade mark applications. And it can save you time and money.

It is necessary to manually enter the description in some cases. If your goods/services aren't on the picklist you'll need to manually them. This might happen if your products or services are unusual or new, or if you operate in a crowded field and you need to make the description quite specific.

How do I use the picklist?

When you file an application through IP Australia's online portal, you will be asked to provide the G&S. You can either search for keywords using the picklist to select your G&S, or you can enter them manually.

You can also search the picklist outside of the application process by using IP Australia's goods and services classification search.

How do I choose for the right description when using the picklist?

If you're using the picklist for your application, you should start by entering some keywords for the goods/services you provide or intend to provide under the TM.

It's common practice to use both broad and narrow descriptions for the G&S to give the best protection.

Its a good idea to spend some time thinking about the keywords that might be relevant to your products/services, as the description you provide defines the scope of your rights.

You can start with broad descriptions, and gradually get narrower. However, the picklist is ultimately limited. If you don't think the picklist covers everything you provide or intend to provide under your trademark you should enter them manually when completing the application form.

Make sure you cover all of the G&S you currently or intend to provide under the mark.

If you need some inspiration for your G&S description, you can always search the Australian trademark register for other businesses that provide similar a similar product/service to you.

If you need a hand, we can help with trademark applications.

Two business owners filing a trademark application.
You should make sure you cover all of the goods and services you currently or intend to provide under your trademark when you register a trademark.

How to check your specifications

How do I make sure I've chosen the specifications?

Choosing the correct specifications to ensure your trade mark is properly protected can be tricky.

When you're choosing the G&S for your application, you should make sure you cover all of the goods/services you currently or intend to provide under the brand.

If you're not sure whether you've chosen the right G&S specifications or the right classes, you can check with a trademark lawyer or agent before filing.

Once you've submitted your filing, you won't be able to add any new goods or services to the application. You would need to file a new one to expand the scope of your rights.

How do the goods/services I choose affect my rights?

If your mark is descriptive of the G&S you claim, an objection may be raised by IP Australia during examination.

Check our our tips on how to choose a good trademark.

Need help?

If you need help with your trademark or have a trademark issue, contact us today.

*Please note, the information in this article is general in nature and is not legal advice. You should seek independent legal advice tailored to you and your circumstances.


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