Register a Current Trademark in a Different Class


If you have a registered trademark, you might want to register it in a different class. This is also known as “classing up” or “classing down” your mark. For example, let’s say that you have two trademarks: one for “dog food” and one for “pet supplies.” If you wanted to make sure that both of these trademarks were protected by the same registration in case someone tried to steal them, then you could try classing up the dog food mark so that it covers all types of pet supplies instead of just dog food. You can do this by visiting the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) and entering both trademarks’ numbers into the search bar.

Determine Where your Trademark is Registered

Before you can register your trademark in a different class, you need to determine which classes are appropriate for your mark. This will depend on the type of products or services that you offer and their related uses.

A trademark registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is protected by law against unauthorized use by others. The USPTO will only allow a single registration for each mark; however, it can be registered in more than one class of goods or services at once if those classes cover all of the goods or services associated with that particular mark.

The two main types of trademarks include:

  • Trademarks that are used to identify goods and services (trademarked products). These are often filed on the Supplemental Register at first, but maybe later moved to Principal Register if they achieve distinctiveness through continuous use as required under Section 1063(d) of Title 15 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR).
  • Service marks that identify some form of business service rather than an actual product such as accounting services or freelance writing

Determine Whether it’s Worth Registering your Trademark in other Classes

If you have a registered trademark, you can register it in other classes. However, if you plan on doing this, it’s important to know that registering for multiple classes is expensive and time-consuming. You can also choose to register for one class and then register for additional classes later. This is called “supplemental” filing. However, it’s cheaper because the fees are lower than those associated with filing an application in Principal Register (where most companies file their trademarks).

When choosing whether or not to expand your trademark protection by registering it in more than one class, consider your business goals and determine how much protection you need as well as how much money it will cost.

Never Register for a Class that you don’t Need

The Supplemental Register is a secondary registration that does not grant many of the same rights as a Principal Registration. Specifically, you will not be able to use the ® symbol or claim common law rights in your mark on the Supplemental Register. Furthermore, as this is a secondary database, it’s not as searchable or accessible as Principal Register.

For these reasons and others (e.g., less protection from being challenged), it is advisable to only register for classes that you need in order to protect your brand or product line and avoid registering in unnecessary classes where there may be more risks than benefits.

Use Principal Register, not the Supplemental Register.

Principal Register is the place to register your trademark if you want to use it in commerce. The Supplemental Register is a waiting room for trademarks that aren’t yet ready for prime time but could be at some point down the road. If you file with the PTO to register your mark on Principal Register and it gets approved, that means your mark has been determined to be strong enough for commercial use and will be published in the Official Gazette. You can check back in three months (or whenever it takes) until there’s an interesting tidbit about your mark when someone else tries to register something similar or uses it first (which is always possible).

In most cases, if you want a trademark registration of any kind–even if it’s just informational–you’ll need one from both registers before moving forward with anything else. And if there are multiple applications vying for ownership over similar names or designs (i.e., two different companies trying out “Honeydew Melon” as their new product name), then those applications have priority over each other–meaning whoever filed first gets priority over everyone else until either their application expires or theirs gets approved first by someone else beating them out with another application using similar words/designs/etcetera…


You may find it difficult to register for a class that is different from the one in which your trademark is already registered. This can be due to costs associated with registering multiple classes, or because there are no available classes left in which you can file an application. If this happens, think carefully about whether it makes sense for you to register your trademark on a Supplemental Register or not at all. In most cases, it’s best just to move forward with what you’ve got!

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