What is the Nice Classification? What are Trademark Classes?
In this video, we will go over the 11th edition of the Nice Classification current as of 2019.
Check it out below:
This is the first in a series of videos I'm shooting about Trademark Classes. In this video, we'll provide an overview of the entire system and quickly go through all classes. Consider it an introduction to the Nice Classification. And by the way, it's pronounced [nis] not [nice]. It's about the French town, not about ‘oh! how nice! I will be also shooting videos about several specific classes that are most commonly used by brand owners. And I will also be shooting videos about specific industries to see which classes are relevant to them. I read all and respond to most comments personally. So if you want me to shoot a video about a particular trademark class or a video about the classes commonly used to trademark brands in a particular industry, let me know in the comments below. Oh! and don't forget to subscribe you haven't yet. This way you'll know when the next video comes out.
Alright, let's talk about the Nice Classification. It first came to be in 1957 when a bunch of countries realized that they wanted to standardize the way trademark offices around the world classified goods and services in respect of which brand owners trademarked their brands. The first edition of the Nice Classification entered into force in April of 1961. Now, you see, trademarks don't give you an absolute monopoly over your name, logo, or tagline. Trademarks give you a monopoly or the mental link between your name, logo, or tagline and specific products and services that you offer to the market under your name, logo, or tagline. Now, for example, Apple doesn't own the word Apple by itself. They own the word Apple in connection with phones, watches, software, and a bunch of other products and services. Now to put things into perspective, in 1961, the year when Nice Classification entered into force, we didn't have the internet email, personal computers, video games, or even pocket calculators. Not only did the vast majority of today's most successful companies not exist in 1961, the people who found that these companies weren't even born in 1961. You'll understand why this is important in a moment when I take you through the classes of the Nice Classification. Initially, there are only 34 classes for physical products only - classes 1 to class 34. And then they added 11 more classes for services - classes 35 to 45.
Now the classification is constantly being revised by adding and removing products and services and putting them inside one of these 45 classes. As new products and services get invented, there's this constant challenge of figuring out where is this supposed to go? which class? and you will notice how some classes remained very small and self-contained while some others grew to cover a massive number of goods and services. Currently, the most detailed level of the classification is the alphabetical list which contains around 10,000 indications of goods and 1,000 indications of services. I'm not gonna go through all these now. What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna walk you through the 45 classes to give you a general idea of what they are. I might throw a comment or two here and there but as I mentioned at the outset, this is just an introduction. If you want me to go into detail about a particular class, post your comment below and we'll take it from there.
Alright! Are you ready? Let's do this.
Class 1 - Chemicals for use in industry, science, and photography, as well as in agriculture, horticulture, and forestry; unprocessed artificial resins; unprocessed plastics; fire extinguishing and fire prevention compositions; tempering and soldering preparations; substances for tanning animal skins and hides; adhesives for use in industry; putties and other paste fillers; compost manures, fertilizers; biological preparations for use in industry and science. It's a pretty big class that covers a bunch of chemical stuff. And again, they keep adding things to it.
Class 2 - Paints, varnishes, lacquers, preservatives against rust and against deterioration of wood; colorants, dyes; inks for printing, marking, and engraving; raw natural resins; metals in foil and powder form for use in painting, decorating, printing and art. So again you start to notice that they're carving out some parts of goods that would have otherwise been in a different class but they want to make sure that they fall under this specific class. Again, you will notice in the future videos what they do to make sure that there is no overlap.
Class 3 - Non-medicated cosmetics and toiletry preparations, non-medicated dentifrices; perfumery (I hope I'm saying it right), perfumery, essential oils; bleaching preparations and other substances for laundry use; cleaning, polishing, scouring, and abrasive preparations.
Class 4 - Industrial oils and greases, wax; lubricants; dust absorbing, wetting, and binding compositions; fuels and illuminants; candles and wicks for lighting.
Class 5 - Pharmaceuticals (that's a big class), medical and veterinary preparations; sanitary preparations for medical purposes; dietetic food and substances adapted for medical or veterinary use, food for babies; dietary supplements for human beings and animals; plasters, materials for dressings; material for stopping teeth, dental wax; disinfectants preparations for destroying vermin; fungicides, herbicides.
Class 6 - Common metals and their alloys, ores; Metal materials for building and construction;
transportable buildings of metal; non-electric cables and wires of common metal; Small items of metal hardware; metal containers for storage or transport; safes. See, they've they keep adding things because they're thinking of we only have so many classes. There are only 34 classes for goods and they have to fit one of these 34. So when somebody comes up with the idea, well, we sell metal containers for storage and transport, where does that go? and then yeah well let's put it in class 6. Alright, so it's very interesting to see this development. The system is designed to make things easy and simple and least confusing but really because it just keeps getting edited and because all they're trying to do is get rid of the overlap sometimes that are not really accomplishing that purpose.
Class 7 - Machines, machine tools, power-operated tools; motors and engines, except for land vehicles (land vehicles will go somewhere else); machine coupling and transmission components (except for land vehicles again); agricultural implements, other than hand-operated hand tools; incubators for eggs; automatic vending machines. When they invented the first vending machine, they were like, where does this go? Well, let's put it in class seven.
Class 8 - Hand tools and implements, hand-operated; cutlery; side arms, except firearms; razors.
Class 9 - Scientific, research, navigation, surveying, photographic, cinematographic, audiovisual, optical, weighing, measuring, signaling, detecting, testing, inspecting, life-saving and teaching apparatus and instruments; apparatus and instruments for conducting, switching, transforming, accumulating, regulating or controlling the distribution or use of electricity; apparatus and instruments for recording, transmitting, reproducing or processing sound images or data; recorded and downloadable media. That's why this class is important because pretty much your podcasts, your downloadable videos go in.
Class 9 - Let's keep going. Computer software, all software which you sell as a product, that's class 9; software as a service would be a different class, software as a product, it's class 9. So computer software, blank digital or analog recording and storage media; mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus; cash registers; calculating devices; computers and computer peripheral devices; diving suits; what do diving suits have anything to do with every anything else in this class? Well, they decided they would go here. So diving suits, divers masks, earplugs for divers, nose clips for divers and swimmers, gloves for divers, breathing apparatus for underwater swimming; fire-extinguishing apparatus. So here's the problem with this, so let's say you've got a brand for software title, you go and trademark it in class 9, and then somebody else wants to do gloves for divers, and the one to call them the same way. So in theory, they would also go in class 9 so when the trademark examiner does the search and say oh, that's the same name and same class, and in many cases, they'd be thrown off by that and say that the marks are confusing even though there's really nothing similar between software and gloves for divers, but for whatever reason, they decided to put them in the same class. Let's keep going.
Class 10 - Surgical, medical, dental, and veterinary apparatus and instruments; Artificial limbs, eyes, and teeth; orthopedic articles; I’m not really sure how to pronounce it, I'm assuming it's suture materials; therapeutic and assistive devices adapted for the disabled; massage apparatus; apparatus devices and articles for nursing infants, sexual activity apparatus, devices, and articles. Well, that's a fun one.
Class 11 - Apparatus and installations for lighting, heating, cooling, steam generating, cooking, drying, ventilating, water supply, and sanitary purposes.
Class 12 - Vehicles, apparatus for locomotion by land, air, or water. Locomotion right
Class 13 - Firearms, ammunition, and projectiles; explosives; fireworks. C
Class 14 - Precious metals and their alloys; jewelry, precious and semi-precious stones; horological and chronometric instruments, so watch right? so they wanted to put watches in
the same class with precious metals and jewelry.
Class 15 - Musical instruments; music stands and stands for musical instruments; and conductors’ batons.
Class 16 - Paper and cardboard; printed matter; bookbinding material; photographs; stationery and office requisites, except furniture, adhesives for stationery or household purposes; drawing materials and materials for artists; paintbrushes; instructional and teaching materials; that's why class 16 is so widely used because books, instructional materials, they all go in class 16; plastic sheets, films and bags for wrapping and packaging; printers type, printing blocks.
Class 17 - On processed and semi-processed rubber, gutta-percha, gum, asbestos, mica, and substitutes for all these materials; Plastics and resins in extruded form for use in manufacture; packing, stopping, and insulating materials; flexible pipes, tubes, and hoses, not of metal; right so
because pipes, tubes, and hoses of metal belong to a different class.
Class 18 - Leather and imitations of leather; Animal skins and hides; Luggage and carrying bags; umbrellas and parasols; walking sticks; whips; harness and saddlery; collars, leashes, and clothing for animals. So you see, what they're doing is they're grouping them not just for what things are but also what they're made out of. And sometimes for example keychains, right they don't let you just register keychains in one class because there is no class specifically for keychains and so they go with keychains made of leather - class 18, keychains made of metal - some other class, keychains made of these, keychains made of that. And they would make you put them in two different classes, and in most countries when you file your trademark in multiple classes, guess what happens? you have to pay the government fees for multiple classes. So sometimes it becomes really expensive to trademark some really banal things because they can be made from different materials. Well, let's keep going.
Class 19 - Materials, not of metal, or building and construction; rigid pipes, not of metal, for building; asphalt, pitch, tar, and bitumen; transportable buildings, not of metal; monuments, not of metal. Right, again they carve out metal because metal belongs to a different class.
Class 20 - Furniture, mirrors, picture frames; containers, not of metal, for storage or transport; unworked or semi-worked bone, horn, whalebone or mother-of-pearl; shells; meerschaum; yellow amber.
Class 21 - Household or kitchen utensils and containers; cookware and tableware, except forks, knives, and spoons; combs and sponges; brushes, except paintbrushes; brush-making materials; articles for cleaning purposes; unworked or semi work glass; except building glass glassware, porcelain, and earthenware.
Class 22 - (We're almost halfway there) Ropes and string; nets; tents and tarpaulins; awnings of textile or synthetic materials;; sails; sacks for the transport and storage of materials in bulk; padding; cushioning and stuffing materials, except paper, cardboard, rubber or plastics; raw fibrous textile materials and substitutes thereof.
Class 23 - That's probably the shortest class there is. Yarns and threads for textile use.
Class 24 - Textiles and substitutes for textiles; household linen; curtains of textile or plastic.
Class 25 - is massive but the header is very short. Clothing, footwear, headwear.
Class 26 - Lace, braid and embroidery, and haberdashery ribbons and bows; buttons, hooks and eyes, pins and needles; artificial flowers; hair decorations; false hair.
Class 27 - Carpets, rugs, mats and matting, linoleum and other materials for covering existing floors; wall hangings, not of textile. The funny thing here is that linoleum used to be a trademark by itself. It was the name of a brand and then it became generic and now it even made it into the
classification as a generic word. That's fascinating.
Class 28 - Games, toys, and playthings; video game apparatus; gymnastic and sporting articles; decorations for Christmas trees. So again, when they thought okay where do we put decorations for Christmas trees? and they decided to put them in the same class as toys.
Class 29 - Meat, fish, poultry, and game; meat extracts; preserved, frozen, and dried and cooked fruits and vegetables; jellies, jams, compotes; eggs; milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and other milk products; oils and fats for food.
Class 30 - Used a lot for the food industry. Coffee, tea, cocoa, and artificial coffee; rice, pasta, and noodles; tapioca and sago; flour and preparations made from cereals; bread, pastries, and confectionery; ice cream, sorbets, and other edible ices; Sugar, honey, treacle; yeast, baking-powder; salt, seasonings, spices, preserved herbs; vinegar, sauces and other condiments; ice (frozen water). Well, thanks for telling me.
Class 31 - Raw and unprocessed agricultural, aquacultural, horticultural, and forestry products; raw and unprocessed grains and seeds; fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs natural plants and flower bulbs, seedlings, and seeds for planting; live animals; foodstuffs and beverages for animals; malt.
Class 32 - Beers; non-alcoholic beverages; mineral and aerated waters; fruit beverages and fruit juices; syrups and other non-alcoholic preparations for making beverages.
Class 33 - Alcoholic beverages, except beers; alcoholic preparations for making beverages. So in theory, if you have a beer and some other harder liquor or even wine, you would have to file that trademark in two classes 32 and 33.
Class 34 - Tobacco and tobacco substitutes; cigarettes and cigars; electronic cigarettes; and oral vaporizers for smokers; smokers’ articles; matches. That was 34 classes of goods.
And now the classes for services. That's classes 35 to 45.
Class 35 - Advertising; business management; Business Administration and office functions. Actually, the first video that I'm going to publish for a specific class is going to cover class 35 because as you'll see, the header can be very short but the scope of what the class covers could be massive.
Class 36 - Insurance; financial affairs; Monetary affairs; real estate affairs.
Class 37 - Building construction; repair; installation services.
Class 38 - Telecommunications.
Class 39 - Transport packaging and storage of goods travel arrangements. Now remember there were several classes that dealt with vehicles and things that actually move, so those were for products. Those worth for the actual vehicles, class 39 are the service of transportation of moving people and goods from point A to point B.
Class 40 - Treatment of materials.
Class 41 - Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities.
Class 42 - Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and industrial research services; design and development of computer hardware and software. So remember I mentioned software as a service, that's class 42.
Class 43 - Services for providing food and drink; temporary accommodation.
Class 44 - Medical services; veterinary services; hygienic and beauty care for human
beings or animals; agriculture, horticulture, and forestry services.
Class 45 - Legal services; security services for the physical protection of tangible property and individuals; personal and social services rendered by others to meet the needs of individuals. So class 45 is where Trademark Factory brand is registered because that's what we offer. We offer the service of helping you protect your brand to make sure you've got the legal tool to go against anybody else who's dumb enough to try to imitate the brand that you have trademarked. And so and there you have it.
Disclaimer: Please note that this post and this video are not and are not intended as legal advice. Your situation may be different from the facts assumed in this post or video. Your reading this post or watching this video does not create a lawyer-client relationship between you and Trademark Factory International Inc., and you should not rely on this post or this video as the only source of information to make important decisions about your intellectual property.