A new version of the eleventh edition of the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (“Nice Classification”) will enter into force on January 1, 2021. The 2021 version of the eleventh edition of the Nice Classification includes a number of changes compared to the previous version. This information was put forth in the World Intellectual Property Organization (‘WIPO’) Notification No. 72/2020 dated November 24, 2020.
What is the Nice Agreement?
The Nice Agreement establishes a classification of goods and services with the objective of registering trademarks and service marks in mind. The trademark offices of Contracting States must indicate, in official documents and publications in connection with each registration, the numbers of the classes of the Classification to which the goods or services for which the mark is registered belong.
Changes in the 2021 version
The International Bureau of WIPO will apply the 2021 version of the eleventh edition of the Nice Classification in two ways. Firstly, any application for international registration that is received by the Office of origin on or after January 1, 2021. Secondly, any application for international registration that is received by the International Bureau of WIPO on or after January 1, 2021, when the said application is received by the International Bureau of WIPO after the two-month time limit referred to in Article 3(4) of the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks.
For all international registrations for which the list of goods and services has been classified according to the 2021 version of the eleventh edition of the Nice Classification, the International Bureau of WIPO will insert the abbreviation “NCL(11-2021)” next to the list of goods and services in the notifications sent to designated Contracting Parties, registration certificates and publications.
The International Bureau of WIPO will not reclassify, in accordance with the 2021 version of the eleventh edition of the Nice Classification, the list of goods and services in international registrations with a date earlier than January 1, 2021. Moreover, the Madrid Goods & Services Manager will be updated to reflect the changes introduced by the 2021 version.
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