TMEP 1401.09: Changes in Practice Based on the Restructuring of International Class 42 in the 8th Edition of the Nice Agreement

This is the October 2015 Edition of the TMEP

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1401.09    Changes in Practice Based on the Restructuring of International Class 42 in the 8th Edition of the Nice Agreement

Effective January 1, 2002, the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (“Nice Agreement”) was amended to add three new service classes (Classes 43 through 45). These new classes arose from the extensive restructuring of Class 42. In the course of that restructuring, many activities were removed from Class 42 and placed in one of the three new classes.

The purpose of the Nice Classification is to group, as much as possible, like goods or services in a single class. Generally, the system is successful in achieving that purpose. However, over the years, it became apparent that Class 42 included many disparate services. This was due in large part to the inclusion of the language “services that cannot be classified in other classes” in the class heading for Class 42. This language allowed services as different as “chemical research” and “horoscope casting” to be included in the class. Therefore, after much study and discussion, the Committee of Experts for the Nice Agreement approved the restructuring of Class 42. The restructuring amended Class 42 by limiting the scope of the services included in this class to computer, scientific, and legal services, and created three additional classes that grouped services previously classified in Class 42 into new classes that kept like services grouped together. See TMEP §1401.02(a); see also TMEP §1401.10(a) regarding later reclassification of legal services to Class 45.

Effective January 1, 2002, the language “services that cannot be classified in other classes,” which previously appeared in the class heading of Class 42, was eliminated. See TMEP §1401.09(a).