EU IP offices clarify Nice Class Heading questions
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EU IP offices clarify Nice Class Heading questions

Applicants for trade marks in Europe have been given new guidance about how they use general indications of the Nice Class headings in their applications

The guidance, contained in an updated version of OHIM’s Manual on Trade Mark Practice, follows a decision by the Court of Justice of the EU in IP Translator.

In June last year the Court ruled that trade mark applicants in Europe must identify goods and services “with sufficient clarity and precision” so that examiners and other businesses can determine the extent of protection “on that basis alone”.

Since then, EU IP offices, Switzerland’s IPI, Norway’s NIPO, user associations and OHIM have been working on a common position on the interpretation of the Nice Class headings and the acceptability of general indications of the Nice Class headings.

Now they have agreed a second Common Communication setting out a list of 11 general indications which lack clarity and precision, requiring further specification. These include Class 6 (Goods of common metal not included in other classes) and Class 7 (Machines and machine tools).

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