Up until now, after the 2013 amendment to the Trademarks Rules of 2003, we were required to follow “current edition” of the NICE classification of goods and services as published by WIPO which meant that we were following the tenth edition of NICE Classification this year. Recently, however, the Trademarks Registry published its list of classification of goods and services as required by Section 8 of the Trademarks Act, 1999.

Going by the law, Rule 22(2) of the Trademarks Rules specifically requires the classification to include goods and services of Indian origin. As required by the Rule, the Registry has included some goods of Indian origin including Indian musical instruments, Indian snacks and desserts, Indian clothing etc. which is really commendable. I do however think the list is not exhaustive in terms of “goods and services of Indian origin”. We will have to wait and see how the Registry decides matters which include goods or services of Indian origin not listed in its list.

The Registry further notifies that we will now have to adopt this list to classify the goods and services covered by a trademark being applied in India. Curiously though, the Registry points to the proviso to Rule 25(12) which requires a trademark applicant’s goods and services to correspond “as far may be” to those given in recently published list.  It will be interesting to see how the Registry would deal with Indian applications filed based on priority or through Madrid protocol. Would the Registry require the applicants to amend their specification to conform to its list? Again, we will have to wait and see.

That being said, I did notice asterisk beside some of the listed goods and services and I am clueless as to the purpose of the asterisk since there is no footnote or endnote explaining it. I am hoping the Registry or someone in the know would clarify this.

In the meantime, it is celebration time for all those who go by the book literally and expect the system to follow the rules in the book.

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