The Nice Classification is an international system for classifying goods and services. All goods and services imaginable are grouped in 45 so-called "classes". The name is a reference to an agreement concluded at a diplomatic conference held in Nice on 15 June 1957 establishing the classification. The Federal Republic of Germany is a contracting party to this agreement.
The Nice Classification is updated in five-year cycles. A new edition of this classification was released on 1 January 2012 (10th edition).
Trade mark applications must include a list of goods/services. The applicant specifies in this list for what goods/services he wishes his trade mark to be registered. The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) accepts lists of goods/services drawn up using the terms contained in the Alphabetical List of the Nice Classification and classifies trade mark applications received according to the rules established there.
The classification is also a useful tool for carrying out trade mark searches before filing an application. For example, you can find out if your trade mark application might infringe the existing rights of third parties and change your plans and arrangements accordingly.
Furthermore, you can easily find out the classes of goods or services in respect of which international trade marks have been registered, without the need to have a knowledge of the respective language.
© 2013 Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt | Last updated 17/05/13