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The Nice Classification is the international classification of goods and services used when applying for the registration of marks. The 11th edition of the Nice Classification came into force on the 1st of January 2017. The USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) published an article discussing the amendments in the recent edition of the Nice Classification. These amendments include 15 class headings and explanatory notes in 7 classes. The list of goods and services has also been extended to include a more comprehensive list of goods and services. This blogger would like to explore some of the amendments to the Nice Classification and the impact of these changes would have when applying for the registration of a mark.

Class 3 now includes non-medicated soaps, cosmetics, hair lotions and dentifrices ( which refer to a paste or a powder for cleaning teeth); class 6 classifying building and construction materials and safes and now includes metals for storage and transport; class 10 now includes therapeutic and assistive devices for the disabled and apparatus & devices for nursing infants; class 14 now includes semi-precious stones; class 16 now classifies stationery and office requisites but excludes furniture, typewriters are no longer part of this list, however, plastic sheets, films and bags for wrapping and packaging have been included; class 17 has added resins, tubes and hoses to the list of goods; class 18 has added clothes, collars and leashes for animals, among other changes; class 26 now includes hair decorations and false hair while class 28 now includes toys and video game apparatus.

The amendments to the Services in the Nice Classification can be found in class 45 which has been amended to include security services for the protection of tangible property and individuals.

Some of the explanatory notes in the Nice Classification that have been amended include class 3 to exclude medicated shampoos, soaps, hair lotions and dentifrices which are now included in class 5 and class 11 now includes air-conditioning apparatus and electrically heated clothing.

A complete list of the amendments in the 11th edition of the Nice Classification can be found here.

It is important to note that the amendments will be applied to all international trademark and other mark applications and registrations that were made on or after the 1st of January 2017. A majority of trademark offices including our Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) use the Nice Classification as the international standard for classifying trademarks. Therefore it may be worthwhile for all users of the trade marks system both nationally and internationally to familiarize themselves with the amendments in the 11th edition of the Nice Classification.