Using coordinated classes in your federal trademark search

If you’re searching the trademark database and get a large or unmanageable number of results, using coordinated classes in your search can help you narrow them down.

  • If you’re searching by field tag, use the coordinated class field (the field tag is CC:) to specify a coordinated class. 
  • If you’re not searching by field tag, use the coordinated class filter on the left side to filter your results. You must be in expert mode to use this filter.  

What are coordinated classes?

If you’re doing a federal trademark search, coordinated classes are a tool that can help you find trademarks with goods and services that may be related to yours. International classes and U.S. classes are grouped or “coordinated” if the goods or services in one are closely related to the goods or services in another.

For example, International Class 25 (clothing) has several coordinated classes, including: 

  • International Class 14 (jewelry) 
  • International Class 18 (leather goods, including handbags) 
  • International Class 35 (advertising and business services, including retail store services) 

This is because many companies that offer clothing also offer jewelry in class 14, leather handbags in class 18, and retail store services in class 35. If you sell clothing, a consumer could reasonably expect that you also sell goods from classes 14 or 18, or offer services from class 35.  

See our likelihood of confusion page to learn how goods and services can be related to each other and why relatedness matters in your search. 


Choosing coordinated classes to search 

Coordinated classes aren’t a foolproof tool for finding all trademarks with goods and services that relate to yours. Use the Trademark ID Manual to research which classes you should include in your search and whether coordinated classes are a good option for your search. 

1. Identify the classes of your goods and services

In the Trademark ID Manual, search for one of your goods or services. Review the descriptions and see if one of them accurately reflects your good or service. Be sure to review the descriptions carefully, because some goods are listed in multiple classes. Although the entries may appear to be duplicates, these goods are actually classified based on the purpose, composition, or some other factor appearing in their description. 

Write down any class that reflects your good or service and repeat this process for each of the other goods or services you offer to see how each one is classified. 

2. Identify the classes of related goods and services 

After you’ve looked up all the goods and services you provide, repeat the process for goods and services that might be related to yours. 

Goods or services are related if, for example, they’re identical, similar, or competitive in the marketplace, used together, advertised together, or sold by the same manufacturer or dealer. To learn more about how to determine which goods and services are related to yours, see our likelihood of confusion page. 

3. Choose classes for your search

At a minimum, your federal trademark search should include all the classes you identified in steps one and two. Look at the list of coordinated classes above to see if any of them cover all of the classes you need to search. If not, you may need to search coordinated classes and individual classes. 

Keep your search broad

An effective search carefully balances the burden of being too broad with the risk of being too narrow. In some cases, narrowing your search to a coordinated class isn’t a good strategy. A search that’s not restricted by class may be a better choice. The more classes you include in your search, the broader and more thorough your results will be. Although this means that you’ll have more trademarks to review and compare with yours, you’re more likely to determine if your trademark could create a likelihood of confusion with any trademarks in our database. 

Coordinated classes are a strategy that can help you find trademarks used with goods or services related to yours. However, you still must evaluate both factors of likelihood of confusion for each trademark you find in your search.