I'm attempting to do some preliminary research on trademarks and having trouble with the US classification codes. E.g., I'm looking at a 'Goods and Services' description that starts with "IC 042. US 100 101."

The IC designation is clear enough and it's easy enough to find IC definitions.

However, I can't find the US class definitions. I understand the IC system is the primary classification used for trademarks, however all (?) the trademark applications I see include 'US' code numbers as well, following the IC numbers and the Trademark Manual of Examining Procedure refers to the US codes as "secondary".

So, it seems the US codes are still useful—though secondary—but not defined anywhere I can find. Or should I just not worry about the US codes?

  • It is unclear if you are asking about patents or trademarks from your question. As the answer below indicates the two are very different. – ohwilleke Mar 26 at 0:29
  • Corrected typo. I'm asking about trademarks. – zanerock Mar 26 at 1:34
  • "'Goods and Services' description that starts with "IC 042. US 100 101." The U.S. does not have a TM Goods and Services description such as "US 100 101", so this is confusing. – ohwilleke Mar 26 at 1:56
  • You still mention patents in your question and that may be why you have 3 requests to close the question. The US went to the Nice Classification in 1973 so I do not see much value in you digging into the older system. – George White Mar 26 at 4:47

Trademark class codes are entirely different than patent class codes. The tile of the question uses the word trademark but the question itself says you are looking into patents. Although both are handled by the USPTO, the "T" side and the "P" side of that agency are very distinct. Trademark classification in the US uses the international Nice Classification Agreement as you have linked to.

The traditional US patent classification system is called USPC. It is based on a class/subclass format and, since our system is very old we have Class 4

004 Baths, closets, sinks, and spittoons

Where we find subclass

4/ 300 Flush closet: Subject matter receptacle for receiving bowel material and/or a liquid handling means to assist the removal of the bowel material from the receptacle.

There is an international patent classification system (IPC) and a European classification system ECLA

Both of these are newer than the USPC. Their organization might be compared to the metric vs our ad hoc measuring systems. In ECLA-





FOR (connecting to water supply or waste pipe, sinks E03C; water-closets E03D); TOILET ACCESSORIES (cosmetic equipment A45D) A47K13/00 Seats or covers for all kinds of closets (dog or cat toilets adapted to fit on conventional toilets A01K1/0121)

A47K13/02 • of plastic materials.

Recently the US and the EPO created yet another system the CPC. The Cooperative Patent Classification system is very similar to the ECLA but with a finer gradation of subclasses. In the last two years it seems the transition to CPC at the USPTO is happening.

  • 1
    For good answers regarding patents (but not trademarks or copyrights or anything else) please look at patents.stackexchange.com - also called Ask Patents – George White Mar 25 at 23:52
  • Corrected typo in the question and expanded to further clarify the question on trademarks. – zanerock Mar 26 at 1:40

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