The International Classification of Goods and Services, or Nice Classification, is an international system of classifying goods and services for trademarks under the process of registration. It is based on a multilateral treaty completed in 1957 in Nice, France. It is updated every five years and is now at its 11th version.
What are the Different Classes Under Nice Classification?
In the current system, products are assigned to 45 different classes. Classes 1-34 include goods while 35-45 include services. Here is the list of classes:
Class 1 Chemicals used in science, the industry, and agriculture; unprocessed plastics; manures; fire extinguishing compositions; tempering and soldering preparations; chemical substances for preserving food.
Class 2 Paints, varnishes, and raw natural resins; metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and art.
Class 3 Substances for laundry use and bleaching; non-medicated soaps; perfumery, essential oils, and non-medicated cosmetics.
Class 4 Industrial oils and lubricants; dust absorbing, fuels and illuminants; candles and wicks for lighting.
Class 5 Pharmaceuticals; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; food for babies; dietary supplements for humans and animals; materials for dressings; disinfectants; preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides
Class 6 Common metals, metal building materials for construction; non-electric cables and wires; pipes and tubes of metal; metal containers for storage or transport; safes.
Class 7 Machines and machine tools; motors and engines (not the ones used in vehicles); transmission components (not the ones used in vehicles); egg incubators; automatic vending machines.
Class 8 Hand tools; cutlery; razors.
Class 9 Life-saving apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, and regulating or electricity; apparatus for recording or transmission of sound or images; recording discs; DVDs and other digital recording media cash registers, calculating machines, computers and computer software; fire-extinguishing apparatus.
Class 10 Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary supplies; artificial limbs, including eyes and teeth; suture materials; therapeutic and assistive devices for the disabled; massage apparatus; devices for nursing infants;
Class 11 Apparatus for lighting, heating, cooking, refrigerating, water supply and for sanitary purposes.
Class 12 Vehicles; devices for locomotion by land, water or air.
Class 13 Firearms; ammunition, explosives; fireworks
Class 14 Precious metals; jewelry, precious and semi-precious stones; chronometric instruments
Class 15 Musical instruments
Class 16 Paper and cardboard; bookbinding material; photographs; office requisites (except furniture); drawing materials, paintbrushes; instructional and teaching materials; films and bags for wrapping and packaging;
Class 17 Unprocessed and semi-processed rubber, gum, asbestos, mica and other substitutes for these materials; extruded plastics and resins used in manufacture; flexible pipes, tubes, and hoses.
Class 18 Leather and imitations of leather; animal skins; traveling luggage and carrying bags; umbrellas; walking sticks; whips, harness; collars and leashes.
Class 19 Non-metallic building materials; non-metallic rigid pipes; asphalt, pitch, and bitumen; non-metallic transportable buildings; monuments not made of metal.
Class 20 Furniture, mirrors, picture frames; non-metal containers for storage or transport; unworked or semi-worked bone, horn, ivory, or mother-of-pearl; shells
Class 21 Household or kitchen utensils; combs and brushes (except paint brushes); sponges; objects for cleaning purposes; steelwool; unworked or semi-worked glass (except ones used in buildings); glassware, porcelain, earthenware.
Class 22 Ropes and string; nets; tents, and tarpaulins; sails; sacks for the transport and storage of materials in bulk; raw fibrous textile materials and their substitutes; padding, cushioning and stuffing materials;
Class 23 Yarns and threads
Class 24 Textiles and their substitutes; bed covers; table covers, household linen; curtains of textile or plastic.
Class 25 Clothing, footwear, and headgear.
Class 26 Embroidery, ribbons and braid; buttons, hooks, pins, and needles; artificial flowers; hair decorations; false hair.
Class 27 Carpets, rugs, and mats, materials for covering existing floors; non-textile wall hangings
Class 28 Games and toys; video game equipment; gymnastic and sporting equipment; Christmas tree decorations
Class 29 Meat, fish, and poultry; preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies, jams, eggs; milk products; edible oils and fats
Class 30 Coffee, tea, cocoa, and artificial coffee; rice; cereals; bread, pastries and confectionery; sugar, honey; salt; vinegar, condiments; spices; ice
Class 31 Raw agricultural, aquacultural, and forestry products; unprocessed grains and seeds; fresh fruits and vegetables, natural plants and flowers; seeds for planting; live animals; food and beverages for animals
Class 32 Beers; mineral waters and other non-alcoholic beverages; fruit beverages and fruit juices; and syrups
Class 33 Alcoholic beverages (except beers)
Class 34 Tobacco and cigarettes; matches
Class 35 Advertising; business management; office functions
Class 36 Insurance; financial affairs; real estate affairs
Class 37 Building construction; repair; installation services
Class 38 Telecommunications
Class 39 Transport; travel arrangement; packaging and storage of goods
Class 40 Treatment of materials
Class 41 Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities
Class 42 Scientific and technological services and research industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software
Class 43 Services for providing food and drink; temporary accommodations
Class 44 Medical services; veterinary services; hygienic and beauty care for human beings or animals; agriculture and forestry services
Class 45 Legal services; security services; personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals
How does trademark classification work?
When filing for a trademark application, you should apply for the appropriate class depending on the type of goods or services your trademark will protect. The trademark will also protect those goods and services under the class that you put in your application. Let's say you want to register a trademark for your telecommunications service. That means it will be classified under class 38. If you want to apply for another product under the same name, you'll have to apply again and put it in another class.
Advantages of Nice Classification
Because of the Nice Classification, trademark applications are already arranged and coordinated by a single system. That means it is easier for goods and services to be classified no matter how many there are. Additionally, all countries that have adopted the Nice Classification have the same system. That means it will be easier to get a trademark in another country as long as they have adopted the Nice Classification system. This saves a lot of time and effort when it comes to filing internationally.
What is the process to find a trademark class?
Firstly, you should identify the type of goods or services that your trademark will cover. That way, it will be easier for you to put them under the appropriate class. For example, class 10 is for medical supplies while class 44 is for medical services. This might be a cause for confusion. So, before applying for a trademark, you should properly discern which class your product will go under.
Can a trademarked logo apply to multiple business types?
As long as the trademark logo is the same, it will be possible to register for multiple goods and services in one application. Of course, you will have to pay more filing fees if they are in different classes. There are situations, though, where it might be easier to separate the goods and services in different applications. Like if you're focusing on trademarking your goods under one (more important) class first, then branching out later.
Can someone use my trademark after I file an application?
Once your trademark application is approved, you are fully protected under the law and you have full legal rights to the trademark. Unless you give them the authority, no other party can use the exact same mark or anything similarly connected to your goods or services.
How can two companies trademark a name in the same class?
It will likely be impossible for two companies to share a name in the same class. Any company trying to apply a trademark that is already registered will find their application rejected. This is simply because of the likelihood of confusion. Trademarks are there to prevent individuals from deliberately confusing consumers. If a single person is confused by two similar marks under one class, then it will be considered infringement.
What are the penalties for bad faith trademark registration?
Bad faith trademark registration basically means that the applicant applies for a trademark, even though he/she knows it is already being used by another. This is done with the intention of highjacking the mark. Depending on the situation, administrative penalties such as a warning or a fine might be used. If there is proven malicious intent, there may be a penalty "according to law".
Why is it allowed to trademark native words like 'Apple'?
Firstly, let's focus on the term "Apple" and how it was used even though it's a common word. The answer is very simple too. The company itself is under the computer industry, and as we all know the apple (fruit) has nothing to do with computers. That simple fact entails that there will be no confusion on the side of the consumers. If you were to register the term "Apple" for your apple products, of course, that will not be accepted. That means, as long as the term is not directly connected to the industry, it might be possible to use it.