By Nina Osseiran
Wednesday 4th of January 2017.

Beginning on 1 January 2017, the 11th edition of the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks, known simply as the Nice Classification, entered into force.

Approved by the Committee of Experts on 16 November 2016, the changes include amendments to 15 class headings for classes 3, 6, 10, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 31 and 45. Modifications were also made to the Explanatory Notes in these 7 classes: 5, 11, 29, 30, 35, 42 and 44.

Brand owners will benefit from the introduction of 334 new goods and services, everything from ‘kinesiology tape’ in Class 5, ‘thermal imaging cameras’ and ‘baby scales’ in Class 9, ‘kimonos’ in Class 25, ‘guacamole’ and ‘extra virgin olive oil’ in Class 29, to ‘software publishing’ and ‘unlocking of mobile phones’ in Class 42.

Some additions are clearly catching up with technology and are a sign of the times such as ‘biochips’, ‘humanoid robots with artificial intelligence’, ‘smart clothes’, ‘virtual reality headsets’ and ‘batteries for electronic cigarettes’ in Class 9, change from ‘military drones’ to ‘drones’ in Class 12, ‘production of teleshopping programmes’ in Class 35, ‘fracking services’ in class 37, ‘car sharing services’ in class 39, ‘3D printing’ in Class 40, and ‘human tissue bank services’ in Class 44.

Many items were added to the food classes 29 and 30 such as ‘cheese soufflés’ , ‘nut-based spreads’, ‘corn dogs’, ‘onion rings’, and ‘falafel’ in Class 29, as well as ‘chocolate-based spreads’, ‘stuffed dumplings’, ‘dairy-based pudding’, ‘agave syrup’ , ‘dulce de leche’, ‘onigiri’, ‘instant rice’, and ‘ice cubes’ in Class 30.

The modifications and new entries are published on WIPO’s website at www.wipo.int under Annex III, complete with remarks and sample product images. The current 11th edition class headings are available online under WIPO’s IP services Nice Classification, official publication.

In terms of international registrations, WIPO will apply the 11th edition of the Nice Classification to applications received by an office of origin under the Madrid System beginning 1 January 2017.

As for the GCC countries, Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE which have adopted the 10th edition of the Nice Classification, are expected eventually to adopt the 11th edition (although those countries utilizing the online filing system will likely take longer to do so), Kuwait is in process to moving from the 8th to the 10th edition, and Qatar still adopts the 7th edition (with only 42 classes) with no news to date on a move toward the latest edition.

And with that, CWB wishes all brand owners a very Happy New Year!