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India – Ninth Edition Of Nice Classification Adopted

The Indian Trade Marks Rules 2002 were recently amended to adopt the Ninth Edition of Nice Classification, in order to align the trade mark laws in India with the international system. Additional service classes, namely, classes 43-45, have been added. The applicants are requested to bring their existing applications in compliance with the new classification. All new applications for classes 43-45 with effect from July 1, 2010 would be accepted by the Trade Mark Office in accordance with the new specifica

It is not mandatory to apply for re-classification as the existing marks can be registered or renewed in the same classes. The Examiners have been directed to search for conflicting marks in class 42 as well while examining a mark under classes 43-45. Therefore, such marks shall be deemed to have been validly made for all intent and purposes irrespective of the services covered by such registration falling in any of the classes 42-45. The renewal for such marks would also me made in the same class and would provide same remedies under the Act, as if the said registration/renewal is made in the corresponding classes.

With applications that are pending examination, it is mandatory to apply for reclassification of class 42 services into appropriate classes or limit their application to goods falling under class 42 only. However, the date of filing and the priority of the application will remain unchanged.

This also applies to those applications that have been objected or hearing is scheduled upon examination under class 42. Oppositions against class 42 applications will be filed against all services opposed irrespective of the new classification.

This move was expected, as the India Trademark Office has recently been engaged in upgrading its practice and procedures to harmonise internationally.