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Oluwaseyi Arowosebe, LLM (Intellectual Property Law and Policy)

Introduction: What is Trademark?

A trademark may be described as a mark used to identify goods or services emanating from a particular vendor and distinguish them from other brands or businesses. Goods and services can be identified by their marks. For example, the Coca-cola brand is popular around the world, and hardly would anyone confuse its trademark with that of another brand.

The nature of a business will determine the class under which the Trademark will be registered. There are 45 Classes from which one can choose. If a business relates to one or more classes, it is advised that the owner registers Trademark in all the applicable classes. For example, if a business relates to Tea, Fruit Justices and Wines, the business is eligible to register Trademark under three classes: 30, 32 and 33. Registration under a class will not cover all.

Every business needs a Trademark because it helps stand them to stand out in the marketplace by allowing customers to distinguish their products/services from those of competitors. That way, it gives consumers confidence in what they are buying.

The name of a person can be trademarked as a brand. Although, for most people, this is a no-go area. The fact is, one can only trademark a name if the name is used in the business. Naming a brand after a particular name enables people to think of the goods or services when they hear the name. If you use your name for a business and are well known by the consuming public, then registering a trademark for your name might be a good idea. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo is a registered trademark in many classes. He is a globally recognised sportsperson with several lines of businesses.

Registration of a Trademark makes it easier to establish the ownership of a trademark if there is a dispute. It also allows one to file a trademark infringement lawsuit in court. In filing a trademark infringement lawsuit, your application must specify the goods or services associated with your mark, and your trademark will extend only to those goods or services.

Of the 45 Classes of trademark, classes 1-34 are for goods, while classes 35-45 are for services:

  • Class 1: Chemicals used in industry, science, and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture, and forestry; unprocessed artificial resins, unprocessed plastics; manures; fire extinguishing compositions; tempering and soldering preparations; chemical substances for preserving foodstuffs; tanning substances; adhesives used in industry; unprocessed plastics in the form of liquids, chips or granules.
  • Class 2: Paints, varnishes, lacquers; preservatives against rust and against deterioration of wood; colourants; mordants; raw natural resins; metals in foil and powder form for painters, decorators, printers, and artists.
  • Class 3: Bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing, scouring and abrasive preparations; soaps; perfumery, essential oils, cosmetics, hair lotions; dentifrices.
  • Class 4: Industrial oils and greases; lubricants; dust absorbing, wetting, and binding compositions; fuels and illuminants; candles and wicks for lighting; combustible fuels, electricity, and scented candles.
  • Class 5: Pharmaceutical and veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic food and substances adapted for medical or veterinary use, food for babies; dietary supplements for humans and animals; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides.
  • Class 6: Common metals and their alloys; metal building materials; transportable buildings of metal; materials of metal for railway tracks; non-electric cables and wires of common metal; ironmongery, small items of metal hardware; pipes and tubes of metal; safes; goods of common metal not included in other classes; ores; unwrought and partly wrought common metals; metallic windows and doors; metallic framed conservatories.
  • Class 7: Machines and machine tools; motors and engines (except for land vehicles); machine coupling and transmission components (except for land vehicles); agricultural implements other than hand-operated; incubators for eggs; automatic vending machines.
  • Class 8: Hand tools and hand-operated implements; cutlery; side arms; razors; electric razors and hair cutters.
  • Class 9: Scientific, nautical, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, optical, weighing, measuring, signalling, checking (supervision), life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling electricity; apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of sound or images; magnetic data carriers, recording discs; compact discs, DVDs and other digital recording media; mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus; cash registers, calculating machines, data processing equipment, computers; computer software; fire-extinguishing apparatus.
  • Class 10: Surgical, medical, dental, and veterinary apparatus, instruments, artificial limbs, eyes, and teeth; orthopaedic articles; suture materials; sex aids; massage apparatus; supportive bandages; furniture adapted for medical use.
  • Class 11: Apparatus for lighting, heating, steam generating, cooking, refrigerating, drying, ventilating, water supply, and sanitary purposes; air conditioning apparatus; electric kettles; gas and electric cookers; vehicle lights and vehicle air conditioning units.
  • Class 12: Vehicles; apparatus for locomotion by land, air, or water; wheelchairs; motors and engines for land vehicles; vehicle body parts and transmissions.
  • Class 13: Firearms; ammunition and projectiles, explosives; fireworks.
  • Class 14: Precious metals and their alloys; jewellery, costume jewellery, precious stones; horological and chronometric instruments, clocks, and watches.
  • Class 15: Musical instruments; stands and cases adapted for musical instruments.
  • Class 16: Paper, cardboard, and goods made from these materials, not included in other classes; printed matter; bookbinding material; photographs; stationery; adhesives for stationery or household purposes; artists’ materials; paint brushes; typewriters and office requisites (except furniture); instructional and teaching material (except apparatus); plastic materials for packaging (not included in other classes); printers’ type; printing blocks.
  • Class 17: Rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica, and goods made from these materials; plastics in extruded form for use in manufacture; semi-finished plastics materials for use in further manufacture; stopping and insulating materials; flexible non-metallic pipes.
  • Class 18: Leather and imitations of leather; animal skins, hides; trunks and travelling bags; handbags, rucksacks, purses; umbrellas, parasols, and walking sticks; whips, harnesses, and saddlery; clothing for animals.
  • Class 19: Non-metallic building materials; non-metallic rigid pipes for building; asphalt, pitch, and bitumen; non-metallic transportable buildings; non-metallic monuments; non-metallic framed conservatories, doors, and windows.
  • Class 20: Furniture, mirrors, picture frames; articles made of wood, cork, reed, cane, wicker, horn, bone, ivory, whalebone, shell, amber, mother-of-pearl, meerschaum or plastic, which are not included in other classes; garden furniture; pillows and cushions.
  • Class 21: Household or kitchen utensils and containers; combs and sponges; brushes; brush-making materials; articles for cleaning purposes; steel wool; articles made of ceramics, glass, porcelain or earthenware which are not included in other classes; electric and non-electric toothbrushes.
  • Class 22: Ropes, string, nets, tents, awnings, tarpaulins, sails, and sacks for transporting bulk materials; padding and stuffing materials that are not made of rubber or plastics; raw fibrous textile materials.
  • Class 23: Yarns and threads for textile use.
  • Class 24: Textiles and textile goods; bed and table covers; travellers’ rugs, textiles for making articles of clothing; duvets; covers for pillows, cushions, or duvets.
  • Class 25: Clothing, footwear, headgear.
  • Class 26: Lace and embroidery, ribbons and braid; buttons, hooks and eyes, pins and needles; artificial flowers.
  • Class 27: Carpets, rugs, mats and matting, linoleum and other materials covering existing floors; wall hangings (non-textile); wallpaper.
  • Class 28: Games and playthings; playing cards; gymnastic and sporting articles; decorations for Christmas trees; children’s toy bicycles.
  • Class 29: Meat, fish, poultry, and game; meat extracts; preserved, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies, jams, compotes; eggs, milk, and milk products; edible oils and fats; prepared meals; soups and potato crisps.
  • Class 30: Coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar, rice, tapioca, sago, artificial coffee; flour and preparations made from cereals, bread, pastry and confectionery, ices; honey, treacle; yeast, baking powder; salt, mustard; vinegar, sauces (condiments); spices; ice; sandwiches; prepared meals; pizzas, pies, and pasta dishes.
  • Class 31: Agricultural, horticultural, and forestry products; live animals; fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, natural plants, and flowers; foodstuffs for animals; malt; food and beverages for animals.
  • Class 32: Beers; mineral and aerated waters; non-alcoholic drinks; fruit drinks and fruit juices; syrups for making beverages; shandy, de-alcoholized drinks, non-alcoholic beers, and wines.
  • Class 33: Alcoholic wines; spirits and liqueurs; alcopops; alcoholic cocktails.
  • Class 34: Tobacco; smokers’ articles; matches; lighters for smokers.
  • Class 35: Advertising; business management; business administration; office functions; electronic data storage; organization, operation, and supervision of loyalty and incentive schemes; advertising services provided via the Internet; production of television and radio advertisements; accountancy; auctioneering; trade fairs; opinion polling; data processing; provision of business information; retail services connected with the sale of goods.
  • Class 36: Insurance; financial services; real estate agency services; building society services; banking; stockbroking; financial services provided via the Internet; issuing of tokens of value in relation to bonus and loyalty schemes; provision of financial information.
  • Class 37: Building construction; repair; installation services; installation, maintenance, and repair of computer hardware; painting and decorating; cleaning services.
  • Class 38: Telecommunications services; chat room services; portal services; e-mail services; providing user access to the Internet; radio and television broadcasting.
  • Class 39: Transport; packaging and storage of goods; travel arrangement; distribution of electricity; travel information; provision of car parking facilities.
  • Class 40: Treatment of materials; development, duplicating, and printing of photographs; generation of electricity.
  • Class 41: Education; providing training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities.
  • Class 42: Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software; computer programming; installation, maintenance, and repair of computer software; computer consultancy services; design, drawing and commissioned writing for the compilation of websites; creating, maintaining and hosting the websites of others; design services.
  • Class 43: Services for providing food and drink; temporary accommodation; restaurant, bar, and catering services; provision of holiday accommodation; booking and reservation services for restaurants and holiday accommodation; retirement home services; crèche services.
  • Class 44: Medical services; veterinary services; hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals; agriculture, horticulture, and forestry services; dentistry services; medical analysis for the diagnosis and treatment of persons; pharmacy advice; garden design services.
  • Class 45: Legal services; conveyancing services; security services for the protection of property and individuals; social work services; consultancy services relating to health and safety; consultancy services relating to personal appearance; provision of personal tarot readings; dating services; funeral services and undertaking services; fire-fighting services; detective agency services.


Companies in Nigeria are encouraged to register their trademarks in the appropriate classes to distinguish them from competitors. Almost everyone in business has a mark (logo) associated with their businesses. These marks ought to be registered as a Trademark.


This article on International Classes of Trademark is prepared for general informational purposes only and not legal advice. The information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. The article may also not be used for professional or commercial purposes. If you require legal advice on the subject matter, kindly contact an Intellectual Property Attorney.
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