Summary of the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (1957)
The Agreement establishes a classification of goods and services for the purposes of registering trademarks and service marks (the Nice Classification). The trademark offices of the contracting States must indicate, in the official documents and publications in connection with each registration, the numbers of the classes of the Classification to which the goods or services for which the mark is registered belong.
The Classification consists of a list of classes—there are 34 classes for goods and eleven for services—and an alphabetical list of goods and services. The latter comprises some 11,600 items. Both lists are amended and supplemented periodically by a Committee of Experts on which all contracting States are represented. The current edition of the Classification is the ninth, which entered into force on January 1, 2007.
Although only 83 States are party to the Nice Agreement, the trademark offices of at least 147 States, as well as the International Bureau of WIPO, the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), the Benelux Organisation for Intellectual Property (BOIP) and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM) of the European Communities, actually use the Classification.
The Nice Agreement created a Union, which has an Assembly. Every State member of the Union which has adhered to the Stockholm Act or the Geneva Act of the Nice Agreement is a member of the Assembly.
Among the most important tasks of the Assembly is the adoption of the biennial program and budget of the Union.
The Agreement, concluded in 1957, was revised at Stockholm in 1967 and at Geneva in 1977, and it was amended in 1979.
The Agreement is open to States party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883). Instruments of ratification or accession must be deposited with the Director General of WIPO.