Nice classes: heading towards harmonisation


Guy Wilmot

Nice classes: heading towards harmonisation

xpoint /

European practice relating to the classification of goods and services has been codified and harmonised this year across member states. Do trademark practitioners now have sufficient clarity when using and applying the Nice system? Guy Wilmot of Russell Cooke investigates.

No classification system is ever perfect—debates continue to rage among taxonomists more than 250 years after Carl Linnaeus first conceived his biological classification system.

The Nice system has existed only since 1961, and offices and lawyers will be arguing about the proper classification of goods and services for as long as the system exists. However, it is reasonable to assume that the recently introduced codification will provide some clarity to the classification practice.

The Nice Classification system is a list of 45 classes of goods and services and any item for which protection is sought must be included within one of those 45 classes.

Guy Wilmot, Russell Cooke, European practice, classification of goods and services, trademark, trademark specification, IPO, member states, classification