The Nice Classification (NCL), established by the Nice Agreement (1957), is an international classification of goods and services applied for the registration of marks. A new edition is published every five years and, since 2013, a new version of each edition is published annually.
When applying for a trademark, the products and/or services for which it will be used have to be specified. All products and services are divided into categories 45 (classes).
Classes 1-34 include goods and classes 35-45 include services. This system allows users seeking to trademark a good or service to choose from these classes as deemed appropriate. Since the system is recognized in numerous countries, it makes applying for trademarks internationally a more streamlined process. The classification system is specified by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Access the Nice Classification
The products and services that you choose, determine the scope of protection of your trademark. In other words, your trademark rights will only apply to those products and services that you specify.
How does it work?
When registering a trademark, you must specify the class numbers as well as describe the specific goods and services within the relevant class. You can do so in two ways:
1. Use the standard class numbers and standard description, as specified in the appendix. Example: Cl 35 Advertising; management of commercial affairs; business administration; administrative services.
2. Use the standard class numbers and provide your own description of the specific goods and services in question fitting within the general heading.
Example: Cl 35 Advertising and advertising consultancy; advertisement design; technical consulting services for advertising campaigns; the management of commercial affairs; market research and consultancy; marketing and marketing consultancy services; the development, elaboration and implementation of advertising campaigns and other promotional activities and projects.
The form gives you space to write down the class number(s) on the left and the description on the right. This system classifies goods and services for the purpose of registering trademarks.
If your goods and/or services are classified under more than three classes, you will be required to pay an additional fee for each additional class.