Trademark offices around the world use an international classification system to categorize various products and services. When filing a trademark, a class number is assigned according to the goods/services description portion of the application. Many countries base their trademark filing fee on the number of classes filed, the US being one of them.
Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to take the time to explore a number of these classes a bit further in hopes of providing further insight.
Let's start with the newest kids on the block, International Class numbers 43, 44 and 45. It all starts out very Nice (a little trademark humor for you…*sigh* ;) yeah, yeah I know).
The Nice Classification is based on a multilateral treaty administered by WIPO. This treaty is called the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks
And that's the longwinded way of saying that most trademark offices around the world have agreed upon one classification system for products and services.
In 2002 the 8th edition of the Nice Agreement came out, which consisted of a restructuring of International Class 42, the class formerly known as "services that cannot be classified elsewhere." It now goes by the moniker "Scientific and technological services and research" – more about that at a later date.
Another effect of this Agreement was the creation of the 3 aforementioned classes.
International Class 43 aka Food and drink services
This class, obviously, contains your restaurants, bars, coffee shops, etc. But it's also the classification for hotels, day care centers, "providing a database in the field of recipes and cooking information" and the like.
044 aka Medical and veterinary services
Health care & veterinary services but also hair styling, garden care, massage and nail salons
045 aka Personal and Social services
Adoption services, foster care, guardianship, etc. are in this class. But there are also services such as house sitting, hotel concierge services (note how it's not in the same class as hotel services), pet sitting and real estate settlement services.
Just this past January a 9th edition of the Nice Agreement was put into force – no new classes but a shifting around of certain products & services happened. To read further, click here.
TradeMark Express Blog Schedule
Summary of all International Classifications