Tuesday, June 13 2023   \  Published by IP Kat .

The Nice Classification conundrum

The Nice Classification conundrum

Understanding the Nice Classification can be challenging. For instance, why do alcoholic beverages fall in class 33, except for (alcoholic) beer, which falls in class 32? Why are there two classes for beverages, while other classes, such as class 9, cover a broad range of goods, which could easily be separated into several classes?

A recent development highlights the problem: Why are all virtual goods for ‘the next big thing’, the Metaverse, classified in class 9 [see here]? This makes trade mark clearance unnecessarily costly, if the ‘real’ goods are found to be similar to virtual goods (which seems to be the prevailing opinion at the moment). The consequence is that you always have to include class 9 in your trade mark clearance search for physical goods.

It is not just the classification, but also the interpretation of terms in the Nice Classification, which can be challenging. Is ‘coffee’ in class 30 the beverage or the coffee beans, and if the latter: raw, roasted or milled? Similar questions apply to ‘tea’.Read more

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