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The 10th Edition of the Nice Classification of Goods & Services has come into effect on 1 January 2012 and the UAE is one of the many countries to adopt the latest edition. Applications filed prior to 1 January 2012 will be examined based on the 9th Edition and there will be no need to reclassify a trademark at the time of renewal.
There are significant changes to the classification across several classes and highlighted below are some of the substantive changes:
Another important change being effected is the frequency of the updates. To date, updates occur every five years, however going forward the review of classification shall occur annually where the next review round will be released on 1 January 2013. Annual versions of the current edition will only include minor changes and substantive changes will continue to be released every five years.
While classification changes are procedural, they do have a substantive impact on the trademark examination process in some countries, such as the UAE, where a finding of similarity can be based simply on the goods being located in the same class even when the goods are in fact different. With the Classification now being revised every year, countries such as the UAE may need to reconsider their approach in determining similarity of marks to create uniformity in the outcome in the examination process.
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