Classifying Your Goods or Services

Classification of Goods and Services

The Nice Agreement concerning the International Classification of goods and services for the purposes of the registration of marks is an international agreement under the aegis of the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Its purpose, as the name suggests, is to provide an internationally recognised classification system of goods and services in respect of which trade marks may be registered. Ireland is a member of the Nice Union of countries and this Office applies the Nice classification system. [Rule 6 of the Trade Marks Rules, 1996 refers]

Under the Nice Classification goods and services are categorised in classes, each of which relate to a particular field or fields of commercial activity, for example, food and drink, pharmaceuticals, financial services, etc. The classification consists of 34 classes of goods (classes 1 - 34 inclusive) and 11 classes of services (35 - 45 inclusive). Each class is headed by a 'Class Heading' which provides 'General Indications' relating to the fields to which goods or services belong (see General Remarks, Nice Classification, 11th Edition). A detailed alphabetical list of items proper to each class is provided under each Class heading. When a trade mark is registered, it may be registered in respect of a particular product or service within a class or for several of the goods or services within a class or, indeed, for goods and services in several different classes. The registration of a mark in respect of specific products or services serves to define the extent of the protection afforded by that registration.

When an application is being searched to determine if there are any earlier marks, which may conflict with the mark that is the subject of the application, it is necessary to identify which other classes of goods or services may contain similar goods or services to those for which registration is being sought. The cross-search list sets out the other classes that an applicant should consider searching, in addition to the class(es) for which protection is being sought.

TMclassbrings together the classification databases (Goods and Services descriptions or terms) of participating trade mark offices in the EU to facilitate the process of classifying Goods & Services.

TMclasshelps you to search for and classify Goods and Services (terms) needed to apply for trade mark protection.  This classification is a necessary step when applying for a trade mark.  If the term does not appear in the database it does not mean that the term will necessarily be rejected by the Patent Office.  However the application process may take longer, if you choose a term that is not part of the database because it cannot be classified automatically and may have to be revised by an examiner.

If you choose terms from more than one class you may be required to pay extra fees   for each additional class.