New Report Sheds Light on Different Local Practices and Examination Standards Relating to the Nice Classification

Published: April 1, 2020

The Nice Classification of Goods and Services was conceived as a harmonization tool to facilitate the registration of trademarks. However, local trademark practices sharply diverge on the availability of certain service classifications, specifically regarding the sale of goods, according to the just-released results of a survey of 51 jurisdictions.

In the previous committee term, INTA’s International Classification Subcommittee of the Harmonization of Trademark Law Practice Committee (HTLPC) examined the different local practices and examination standards relating to the Nice Classification.

The survey found that while some national offices recognize the sale of goods as a service classification, in other jurisdictions, the same classification is rejected. In a third group of countries, the sale of goods is conditionally recognized as a classification. As a result, the scope of protection for marks that identify “retail or wholesale services” is not always clearly defined.

Regardless of the different jurisdictions involved, each with different practices, languages, and legal provisions, the International Classification is used by all the players (many of them potential rights holders) that participate in the different stages of a trademark registration procedure, including:

  • National or regional trademark offices;
  • Practitioners;
  • Global or regional corporations;
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • Entrepreneurs; and
  • The judiciary.

To provide guidance to practitioners, this report from the HTLPC sheds light on different local practices and examination standards relating to the Nice Classification of Goods and Services.

Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of items in the INTA Bulletin, readers are urged to check independently on matters of specific concern or interest.

© 2020 International Trademark Association