All goods or services are categorized within International Classes (IC hereafter). Goods run from classes IC 1-34, while Services are in IC 35-45. Let's take a closer look at one of these trademark classes - class 35.
What is International Class 35 All About?
Each class has a short title heading that gives a snapshot of what that class is all about -- IC 35's short title is advertising and business services. Pretty vague, eh?
The first part of IC 35's description, advertising, is straightforward. If it's advertising, marketing or promoting services that are being offered, then this is the class. Now there are going to be some exceptions, as with anything related to trademarks.
Tangible advertising goods, such as signs, flyers, brochures, are NOT going to be in IC 35 as those items are not technically a service though are definitely part of a service; tangible paper-based advertising goods are in IC 16. Training, coaching, educating, etc. about advertising, marketing or promotion is NOT going to be in IC 35 but rather in IC 41, which is the educational class.
The second part of international class 35's description, business services, is not straightforward at all. Semantically, all services could be considered as business services, yes? No way says the trademark powers that be; at least no way if those services can fit within a different international classification.
The USPTO has about 1500 accepted descriptions that fit into IC 35; check them out here.
So What Business Services are in International Class 35?
Ooh this is a tough nut to crack as there are definitely some discernible patterns within this class but there's a whole lot of slap-dash in here too. Here's a general breakdown:
o If your services consist, in part, of the word business, you're likely in trademark class 35. This includes consulting, advising, administration, management, development, information, organization, research, planning, etc.
o Employment services are in this class, which includes hiring, recruiting, placement, staffing and career networking.
o Retail services selling ANY products under the sun, which means a brick and mortar store, online retail sites, mail order, catalog, wholesale, etc.