ECTA Member’s Voice: New Nice Trade Mark Classification System as of 1 January 2024
By Tarik Kapić, ECTA WIPO-Link Committee, Patent and Trade Mark Attorney, BOVARD LTD, CH (Assisted by Isabelle Jouret, Trade Mark Professional, BOVARD LTD, CH)
On 1 January 2024, the new Nice Trade Mark Classification system will come into force. The 45 classes of preapproved goods and services have been updated with omissions and notable additions. The changes not only seek to align the Nice classification with the evolving landscape of inventions and technological advancements but also mirror societal changes, ecological awareness and the increasing importance of mental health.
Here are a select few added terms:
Technological Advancements: Augmented reality from entertainment to education and the inclusion of a number of new terms for the trading of cryptocurrency are all notable additions.
Societal Changes: Political correctness can be seen with the term “workmen” having been replaced with the word “worker”. The way we interact, learn and entertain is mirrored in terms such as “content moderation for internet chatrooms", “online retail services for downloadable virtual clothing” or “simulated travel services provided in virtual environments for entertainment purposes".
Advances in Transportation: The Nice Classification 2024 includes terms that represent the frontier of travel, both within the Earth's atmosphere and beyond with “space transport" and "self-driving cars".
Ecological Awareness: As the world grapples with environmental challenges, the Nice Classification system introduces terms such as "production of renewable green energy” or “light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs”.
Unique Consumer Goods: The inclusion for example of "jewellery for pets" reflects the changing dynamics of pet ownership and the increasing demand for specialised consumer goods.
For further information, please refer to Information Notice No. 35/2023.
The views expressed are those of our members and not necessarily of ECTA as an association. The content has not been subjected to a verification process, the accuracy of the information contained in the article is responsibility of the author.
This week the EU Council adopted a new regulation on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act).
The main objectives of the regulation are to:
- ensure fairness in the allocation of value from data among actors in the digital environment - stimulate a competitive data market - open opportunities for data-driven innovation - make data more accessible to all
The new regulation will be published in the EU’s official journal in the coming weeks and will enter into force 20 days after this publication.
To learn more, please read the official press release here.
Transition to the mandatory use of electronic Applications for Action (eAFAs)
Right holders and their representatives are invited to submit only electronical applications for action (eAFAs) to customs through the IP Enforcement Portal or national portals in Germany, Italy and Spain.
We are now at the end of the transition phase where paper AFAs are still accepted by Member States. In 2024, this phase will end and acceptance of paper AFAs will cease afterwards.
The precise date in 2024 will be communicated later, a few months before it becomes mandatory to submit eAFAs.
EU Regulation on GI protection for craft and industrial products entered into force
The Regulation on GI protection for craft and industrial products entered into force yesterday, twenty days past its publication in the Official Journal of the EU.
The new Regulation establishes a harmonised framework for the protection of geographical indications for EU craft and industrial products and introduces the opportunity for EU and non-EU countries to obtain a uniform GI protection in the EU. Pursuant to this Regulation, the EUIPO has been designated as the EU competent authority in respect for GIs for craft and industrial products.
The examination and registration process will, normally, consist of two phases (standard procedure):
1. Producers will initiate the filing of their GI applications with the Member States’ designated competent authorities for national level assessment. 2. Successful applications will then be forwarded by national authorities for further evaluation and approval by the EUIPO.
A direct application procedure to the EUIPO (direct registration procedure) will be available for producers of Member States that obtain from the European Commission a derogation from the obligation to set up a national system.
The new system will be applicable from 1 December 2025. From this date onwards, it will be possible to apply for registration of a GI. Existing national rights will cease to exist one year after, on 2 December 2026.
For general information on the legal framework concerning GIs and the new system visit the recently published EUIPO GI Hub.
To read the official news update, please click here.
“The new regulation is a major step towards recognising high quality craft and industrial products manufactured on the basis of their strong link to their geographical origin. Finally, these products will receive the same well-deserved protection as agricultural products and foodstuffs, wines and spirit drinks”, says Andrea Ringle, Chair of the ECTA Geographical Indications Committee.
ECTA has contributed regularly with the help of our dedicated Geographical Indications Committee during the public consultations on GI and non-agri GI topics in the recent years. ECTA is also regularly holding GI related events and discussions, including, most recently, the ECTA Alicante Round Table in March 2023 on the GI reform, and a session dedicated to non-agri GIs during the ECTA Annual Conference in Prague in June 2023.
ECTA AWARD: Call for Papers is Open for IP Students and Professionals!
The ECTA Award Competition is Open!
As of today, all IP professionals and students are invited to submit an article or essay of importance for the development of the EU Intellectual Property Law.
Your paper could earn you more than just recognition - it could lead to a monetary prize, an 18-month free ECTA membership, and publication of your work on our website. But that's not all! The winners will be honoured by ECTA President at the ECTA Annual Conference in Antwerp on 21 June 2024.
Consult the ECTA Award submission requirements and judging criteria and send your paper to email@example.com by 28 February 2024. Kindly indicate whether you are participating in the Professional or Student category.
All submissions will be judged by the ECTA Professional Affairs and Membership Committee with the support of other Committees and under the supervision of the Board of Directors.