New Classification Guidelines published by WIPO

Nice ClassificationThe Nice Classification (NCL), established by the Nice Agreement (1957), is an international classification of goods and services applied for the registration of marks.  The eleventh edition of the NCL came into force on January 1, 2017. The authentic texts of the Nice Classification (in English and in French) are published online by WIPO. By decision of the Committee of Experts, the paper publication has been discontinued, the 10th edition, published in June 2011, being the last printed edition.

On 30 March this year, the World Intellectual Property Organisation (‘WIPO’)  published the examination guide. 
The document contains guidelines for the examination undertaken by the International Bureau (IB) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) of the indications of goods and services listed in applications for the international registration of a mark (international applications) filed under the Madrid System. 
According to the document: “The publication of these guidelines seeks to inform the Madrid System users and Offices of the practices followed by the IB; support users when listing goods and services in international applications; increase the predictability of the outcome of the examination undertaken by the IB; and foster greater consistency among Office practices. In general terms, this should positively impact the processing of international applications.”
The International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks was established by an Agreement concluded at the Nice Diplomatic Conference, on June 15, 1957, was revised at Stockholm, in 1967, and at Geneva, in 1977, and was amended in 1979.
The first edition of the Nice Classification was published in 1963, the second in 1971, the third in 1981, the fourth in 1983, the fifth in 1987, the sixth in 1992, the seventh in 1996, the eighth in 2001, the ninth in 2006, and the tenth in 2011.  Since 2013, a new version of each edition is published annually. The current edition is the eleventh. It entered into force on January 1, 2017.

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    The new EU trade mark Regulation enters into force on March 23rd. As a result, the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) will change its name to the European Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

    The amending Regulation also revises the fees payable to the Office, including an overall reduction in their amounts, particularly in the case of trade mark renewal fees. On 23.3. 2016, the Office’s online application forms and fee calculator will be automatically updated to reflect the new system.
    From its base in Alicante, Spain, OHIM has processed more than 1.3 million Community trade mark applications in 23 EU languages, from nearly every country and region in the world, since 1996.

    The Amending Regulation was published on 24 December 2015 and is part of the EU trade mark reform legislative package that also includes the replacement of the existing EU Trade Mark Directive (Directive 2008/95/EC of the European Parliament and the Council).

    OHIM is the EU’s largest decentralised agency. It is entirely self-financed, receiving no funding from the EU Budget. As well as managing the Community trade mark and the registered Community design (RCD), it works in collaboration with the EU national and regional IP offices to build a stronger IP system across the EU for the benefit of users.

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