What is Nice Classification?

Trademark Law

What is Nice Classification?

When applying for a trademark for entry in the trademark register, you must specify the goods and/or services for which the trademark is to be protected.

The trademark is then only protected precisely for the areas registered. That is why brands of the same name can “co-exist” in different areas.

For example, there is a consumer goods manufacturer “Henkel” who has no connection with the sparkling wine manufacturer “Henkel”, and both have the same brand in different areas.

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A warning in advance: One might now believe that it is better to cover many Nice classes when applying for a trademark. However, this assumption is a fallacy because the brands must also be used for the Nice classes.

If you do not use the trademark for the selected Nice classes within five years following the registration, or if such use has been suspended during an uninterrupted period 5 five years, you might lose the protection.

The list of goods and services must be drawn up following the International Nice Classification of Goods and Services for the Registration of Brands (“Nice Classification”).

The name goes back to the agreement concluded at the diplomatic conference in Nice on June 15, 1957, which contractually stipulated the creation of the classification.

In a total of 45 classes (34 for goods and 11 for services), it contains around 10,000 standardized and permitted terms that can be used for the list of goods and services in a trademark application.

In a total of 45 classes (34 for goods and 11 for services), it contains a total of around 10,000 standardized and permitted terms that can be used for the list of goods and services in a trademark application.

International Nice Classification of Goods and Services

Goods and services always belong to a certain category, also known as the Nice classes. They are not abstract but relate precisely to these Nice classes to which they belong. The trademark protection refers to the respective Nice classes.

The goods classes (1-34) are roughly divided into product and material groups, the service classes (35-45) according to sectors/industries.

Nice Classification
Below you will find the updated version of the WIPO Nice Classification, 11th Edition, Version 2021 (valid from January 1, 2021):

Classes of Goods

Nice Class Goods
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.
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.
Class 3
  • Non-medicated cosmetics and toiletry preparations
  • Non-medicated dentifrices
  • 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, 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.
Class 7
  • Machines, machine tools, power-operated tools
  • Motors and engines, except for land vehicles
  • Machine coupling and transmission components, except for land vehicles
  • Agricultural implements, other than hand-operated hand tools
  • Incubators for eggs
  • Automatic vending machines.
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, signalling, 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, computer software, blank digital or analogue recording and storage media
  • Mechanisms for coin-operated apparatus
  • Cash registers, calculating devices
  • Computers and computer peripheral devices
  • Diving suits, divers’ masks, ear plugs for divers, nose clips for divers and swimmers, gloves for divers, breathing apparatus for underwater swimming
  • Fire-extinguishing apparatus.
Class 10
  • Surgical, medical, dental and veterinary apparatus and instruments
  • Artificial limbs, eyes and teeth
  • Orthopaedic articles
  • Suture materials
  • Therapeutic and assistive devices adapted for persons with disabilities
  • Massage apparatus
  • Apparatus, devices and articles for nursing infants
  • Sexual activity apparatus, devices and articles.
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.
Class 13
  • Firearms
  • Ammunition and projectiles
  • Explosives
  • Fireworks.
Class 14
  • Precious metals and their alloys
  • Jewellery, precious and semi-precious stones
  • Horological and chronometric instruments.
Class 15
  • Musical instruments
  • Music stands and stands for musical instruments
  • 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
  • Plastic sheets, films and bags for wrapping and packaging
  • Printers’ type, printing blocks.
Class 17
  • Unprocessed 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.
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.
Class 19
  • Materials, not of metal, for building and construction
  • Rigid pipes, not of metal, for building
  • Asphalt, pitch, tar and bitumen
  • Transportable buildings, not of metal
  • Monuments, not of metal.
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-worked glass, except building glass
  • Glassware, porcelain and earthenware.
Class 22
  • 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 of paper, cardboard, rubber or plastics
  • Raw fibrous textile materials and substitutes therefor.
Class 23
  • Yarns and threads for textile use.
Class 24
  • Textiles and substitutes for textiles
  • Household linen
  • Curtains of textile or plastic.
Class 25
  • 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.
Class 28
  • Games, toys and playthings
  • Video game apparatus
  • Gymnastic and sporting articles
  • Decorations for christmas trees.
Class 29
  • Meat, fish, poultry and game
  • Meat extracts
  • Preserved, frozen, 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
  • Coffee, tea, cocoa and artificial coffee
  • Rice, pasta and noodles
  • Tapioca and sago
  • Flour and preparations made from cereals
  • Bread, pastries and confectionery
  • Chocolate
  • 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).
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 flowers
  • 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.
Class 34
  • Tobacco and tobacco substitutes
  • Cigarettes and cigars
  • Electronic cigarettes and oral vaporizers for smokers
  • Smokers’ articles
  • Matches.

Source: WIPO Nice Classification 11th Edition

Classes of Services

Nice Class Services
Class 35
  • Advertising
  • Business management, organization and administration
  • Office functions.
Class 36
  • Financial, monetary and banking services
  • Insurance services
  • Real estate affairs.
Class 37
  • Construction services
  • Installation and repair services
  • Mining extraction, oil and gas drilling.
Class 38
  • Telecommunications services.
Class 39
  • Transport
  • Packaging and storage of goods
  • Travel arrangement.
Class 40
  • Treatment of materials
  • Recycling of waste and trash
  • Air purification and treatment of water
  • Printing services
  • Food and drink preservation.
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, industrial research and industrial design services
  • Quality control and authentication services
  • Design and development of computer hardware and software.
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, aquaculture, 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.

Source: WIPO Nice Classification 11th Edition

Why do the brands need to be classified in Nice Classes?

You should carefully consider the Nice classes for which your trademark is to be registered, as it is not possible to assign it to other classes after filing the trademark application.

The Trademark classes are used to define the scope of protection of a trademark. The greater the protection, the higher the risk of infringing older trademark rights. Therefore, identity and similarity research can help you to avoid a possible brand collision.

When selecting the Trademark classes, it should also be noted that the trademark applicant is obliged to use them. He is obliged to use his trademark in connection with the registered goods and services, as well as in the form in which he has registered them.

If he does not use the trademark for an uninterrupted period of 5 years, he could lose his rights.

How many Nice Classes can you choose for a brand?

When registering the Nice classes, it is important to ensure that exactly the scope of use of the brand is protected.

If too few areas (Nice classes) are protected, some areas remain without protection. If too many areas are protected and not used, a deletion process due to non-use can result.

Trademark registration with the Swiss Federal Institute for Intellectual Property (IGE) contains up to 3 Nice classes. You can select additional classes for which an additional fee has to be paid for each additional class.

Are there criteria for classifying goods and services?

Sometimes it is not so easy to choose the right Trademark classes for a brand because the goods or services cannot be clearly assigned to a class.

For this purpose, the following criteria have been established for a correct classification:

Nice Classification of Goods

Goods Criteria
Finished goods
  • Classification according to their function or purpose
  • Classification in analogy to other comparable finished goods mentioned in the alphabetical list
  • Use classification according to other subordinate criteria, such as the material from which the goods are made or their mode of action, if no corresponding position can be found.
Combined finished products with a multi-purpose function
  • Goods can be classified into the classes that correspond to their individual functions or destinations.
  • If it is not possible, the goods are classified according to the criteria for finished goods.
Raw materials (unprocessed or partially processed) Classification according to the material they are made of
Parts of another article

  • Goods are placed in the same class as this product only if they cannot normally be used for any other purpose.
  • In all other cases, the principles for finished goods apply.
Classified according to the material goods Goods that are classified according to the material from which they are made, and consist of different materials are basically classified according to the material that predominates.
Containers for storing goods Classification in the same class as the goods in question

Nice Classification of Services

Services Criteria
Services Classification according to existing service areas or in analogy to other comparable services
Rental Classification into the same classes as the services provided by the rented items
Advice or information Classification in the same classes as the services to which the advice or information relates
Franchise Classification in the same class as the special services provided by the franchisor

What Does A Trademark Registration Cost?

These include the fees that the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IGE) charges for the protection of a trademark in Switzerland:

Service Fee
Deposit fee (term of protection ten years, renewable) 450 CHF
Class surcharge (from fourth class, per class) 100 CHF
Express Fee (Accelerated Trademark Examination) 400 CHF

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