By notification, in the Official Gazette, on 14th January, 2013 the Central Govt. has made some major amendments to the trademark rule 2002 through the enactment of the Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules, 2013. Apart from other major changes, this rule has made a substantial change in the classification of goods and services to be followed for registration of trademarks/service marks.
Rule 22 of the Trade Marks Rules, 2002, which says for the purposes of the registration of trademarks, goods and services shall be classified in the manner specified in the Fourth Schedule. The rule 22 has been modified as follows.
"Rule 2 of the Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules, 2013 -
In the Trade Marks Rules, 2002 for Rule 22, the
following rule shall be substituted, namely:-
22. Classification of goods or services-- (1) For the purposes of registration of trademarks, the goods and services shall be classified as per current edition of 'the International Classification of goods and services (NICE Classification)' published by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
(2) The Registrar shall publish a class wise and alphabetical index of such goods and services, including goods and services of Indian origin.
Rule 14 of the Trade Marks (Amendment) Rules, 2013 - The FOURTH SCHEDULE of the said rules shall be omitted."
As it can be noted from the above amendment that for registering trademarks the goods and services as classified under International Classification of goods and services (NICE Classification)' published by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has to be followed.
The Nice Classification, of goods and services for the registration of trademarks and service marks, is being followed by almost all the countries except very few countries.
In the Nice Classification, there are 34 classes for Goods (Class 1 to Class 34) and 11 classes for Services (Class 35 to Class 45).
This is certainly welcoming thing, as the more the countries start adapting to the International standards /rules etc, it will help to resolve various international issues/disputes in a more efficient way, nevertheless it will also pave the way for more transparency in the trademark related issues within the Nation.