Under the 1994 Trade Marks Act, the Nice Classification system is formally proscribed for the UK. On 1 January, the Ninth Edition of the Classification comes into effect, and as a consequence, its measures will be imported into UK law.
Rule 6 of the Ninth Edition will enable a registrar to re-classify a registered mark in accordance with any changes made in the categories of goods and services.
Rule 7 revokes two Schedules of the 2000 Edition setting out classification systems based on earlier versions of Nice. These are no longer considered relevant.
Administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the 1957 Nice Agreement provided the Classification as a single, unified system for determining trademark categories. As of January, 79 states will be party to the system. A further 68 non-member states also follow its guidelines. The periodic revisions, of which the Ninth Edition is most recent, affect all signatories.
Full details of the Ninth Edition will be made available on www.wipo.int from 1 January.
WIPO instructions for ordering a copy on CD-ROM can be found here.