When you apply to register a trade mark you need to include a list of all the goods and services that you intend to use the trade mark for. This is called a specification of goods and services.
The easiest way to compile your specification is with our Trade Mark Specification Builder. You can search over 60,000 pre-approved goods and services terms. A reduced trade mark application fee is available if your specification uses only pre-approved terms.
When deciding what to include in your specification, remember:
- You must have an honest intention to trade in all the listed goods and services.
- A specification is a description of what you trade in. Think about what people will pay you for. Is it a good, like coffee beans; or a service, for example selling foodstuffs or running a café?
- You don’t need to list everything your trade mark will appear on. For example, there is no need to state “the trade mark will be used on a label” or “the trade mark will be used on a letterhead”. You only need to include “business cards” in your specification if that’s a good you’re selling to others, or “promotional services” if that’s a service you’re providing for others.
- You can list custom terms in your goods and services specification if needed. Your custom terms must be clear so that anyone looking at the trade mark register will be able to understand the exact nature of your goods and services – take a look at the pre-approved terms as an example.
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Classification means categorising goods and services of similar kinds into classes for ease of identification and searching.
Your specification must include the class or classes that your goods and services terms fall in. This is referred to as the classification of your goods and services.
New Zealand uses an international classification system called the International Classification of Goods and Services, also known as the Nice Classification, published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This classification system groups terms into 45 classes. Classes 1 to 34 are for goods and classes 35 to 45 are for services.
Charges for trade marks are per class, so the more classes in your application the higher the fee will be.
To easily compile your specification and find out what class or classes your goods and services fall into, use our Trade Mark Specification Builder.
When you apply we’ll examine your specification to confirm your goods and services terms are classified correctly. We’ll let you know of any changes required or if we need further information about a good or service term. If we find some of your goods and services terms should be in other classes you will have the opportunity to add those classes to your application (a fee will apply).
Note: You can't expand your specification scope after you've submitted your application. If you need your trade mark to protect more goods and services you will need to file a new application for these. You may want to speak with a business advisor or IP attorney about your IP strategy as part of your business plan.
For more information, see Practice guideline 3 on Classification and specification.