Class 35 or Class 42, Which One is More Important for E-commerce Platforms?


When applying to register trademarks in China, e-commerce platforms are generally advised to cover both class 35 and class 42. From the perspective of a lawyer, such advice is safe and can charge more. Actually, most e-commerce platforms do not have to register trademarks in class 42.

It seems that some service items in class 42 (subclass 4220: computer programming and relevant services) are highly closed to the nature of e-commerce service, e.g., the service items “maintenance of computer software, cloud computing, creating and maintaining websites for others, etc.” Though most e-commerce platforms would use these services in their operation activities, it should be noted that in this situation the e-commerce platforms are usually the role of service receiver, but not the role of service provider. As an example, an e-commerce platform would like to establish its website, the provider of the service of creating website is not the e-commerce platform itself, but the company who providing the service of creating website. In this connection, the latter is indeed the entity which needs to register trademarks in class 42.

Of course, it does not mean that class 42 is not important for e-commerce platforms, those which primarily providing technological support such as Taobao and Amazon still need to register trademarks in class 42.