1401.10 Effective Date of Changes to USPTO ID Manual
In the ID Manual, the "Effective Date" indicates the date on which the status (i.e., Added, Modified, Example, or Deleted) of a particular entry went into effect. When the "Effective Date" changes, the new requirements established by that particular entry apply only to applications filed on or after the date of the change.
Users of the ID Manual may view the "Version History" of particular entries by clicking on the "Term ID" value for an entry. The "Version History" tab will list the Start and End Effective Dates of any previous descriptions and/or classifications of the good or service. The "Notes" for a particular entry will also describe modifications and reclassifications of particular goods/services along with short explanations for such actions.
In a §1 or §44 application filed before the effective date of the entry, the examining attorney may give the applicant the choice to either keep the existing identification and/or class or amend to the new identification, modified description, and/or class. However, if an applicant chooses to comply with the new identification, modified description, and/or class, the applicant must pay the fees for any added class(es) resulting from the change. 37 C.F.R. §2.6(a)(1).
Example: In a §1 application filed on December 1, 2016, the applicant identifies goods in the nature of "metal key rings" in International Class 6. Effective January 1, 2017, "metal key rings" are reclassified to International Class 14. When examining the application in March 2017, the examining attorney may offer the applicant the option of keeping "metal key rings" in International Class 6 or reclassifying them in International Class 14, so long as sufficient fees are paid for any class(es) added to the application.
In a §1 or §44 application filed before the effective date of the entry in which an Office action was issued before the effective date, and the requirement relating to the identification and/or class made in that Office action is inconsistent with the new or modified entry, the applicant may elect to comply with the previously issued requirement or amend to the new identification, modified description, and/or class. The applicant must pay the fees for any added class(es) resulting from the change. 37 C.F.R §2.61(a)(1).
Example: In a §44 application filed on September 1, 2016, the applicant identifies goods in the nature of "broom handles" in International Class 6. In an Office action dated December 1, 2016, the examining attorney requires the applicant to specify the goods are "broom handles of metal" in International Class 6 or "non-metal broom handles" in International Class 20. Effective January 1, 2017, the entry "broom handles" was added to the ID Manual in International Class 21 as the NCL-11-2017 classifies all "broom handles" in International Class 21. The applicant may elect either to comply with the original requirement to clarify the material composition of the goods and classify accordingly, or to reclassify "broom handles" to International Class 21. In either case, the applicant must pay the fees for any added class(es).
However, an applicant cannot choose to have some goods or services in its application comply with one edition/version of the Nice Agreement and other goods or services comply with the requirements of a different edition/version.
Example: An application filed on December 1, 2016 under §1 and §44 includes "nutcrackers" and "ice tongs" in Class 8, the appropriate classification under NCL 10-2016. Under NCL 11-2017 (in effect January 1, 2017), "nutcrackers" and "ice tongs" are classified in Class 21. On or after January 1, 2017, applicant may choose to comply with the new edition/version. However, applicant may not elect to move "nutcrackers" to Class 21 (pursuant to the NCL 11-2017 classification rules) and retain "ice tongs" in Class 8 (pursuant to the NCL 10-2016 classification rules).
For information on the implementation of changes to the Nice Agreement, see TMEP §1401.09.
Once an applicant amends the identification of goods and/or services in a manner that is acceptable to the examining attorney, the amendment replaces all previous identifications and restricts the scope of the goods and/or services to that of the amended language. Further amendments that would add to or expand the scope of the recited goods or services, as amended, will not be permitted. 37 C.F.R §2.71(a); TMEP §1402.07(e).
See TMEP §1401.10(a) regarding the effective date of changes to the ID Manual in connection with §66(a) applications.