US Patent Trademark Search: Everything You Need to Know
Conducting a US patent trademark search is an essential part of the patent application process.3 min read
2. Trademark Class Search: The Nice Classification (NCL) System
3. What Is a Multiple-Class Trademark Application?
US Patent Trademark Search
Conducting a US patent trademark search is an essential part of the patent application process. Patents are a vital asset for many businesses, as they are legal rights that secure a business' ownership over distinct technologies and inventions.
Technology has a long history, and patents do as well. Patents in the United States were created by the United States Constitution. The U.S. Constitution's Patent Clause aimed to strike a balance between protecting investment in research and encouraging public knowledge.
Worldwide patent protection has developed significantly in recent years too. WIPO, an international association for intellectual property, was created in the 1950s and created a classification system for patents.
Trademark Class Search: The Nice Classification (NCL) System
The Nice categorization system is a way of categorizing different businesses and industries and will have an important effect on your patent application.
The system subdivides industries into different categories and sectors. The Nice system also applies to trademarks and supports international searches for different trademarks.
The NCL system has over 45 different categories. There are thirty-four product categories and eleven service categories. Each category is built up in a tree that subdivides them further into different sectors, resulting in thousands of category codes. The further subdivisions are not as important as the primary categories.
The Nice system’s goods run from Class 1 to Class 34. The services run from Class 35 to 45. Here are some of the Nice system’s classes:
- Class 1: Chemical Products
- Class 2: Anti-Corrosion Paints
- Class 3: Cleaning Preparations
- Class 4: Industrial Oils
- Class 5: Medical Pharmaceuticals
If you want to file for an international trademark, it is worth consulting a patent attorney, as the process for a Nice system trademark is complex. Even though the Nice system is an international agreement, the United States has agreed to it. Over 84 nations as part of the Nice system.
Overall, the Nice system has ten thousand different types of products and over a thousand different service categories. The categories are continually updated as economic and technological developments move forward, being reworked every few years.
Any changes to the Nice system are explicitly noted in the new release. WIPO will also announce any new annual changes to the Nice system on an annual basis. New systems are frequently released.
The system essentially means that government authorities in nations that have signed to the Nice system are required to use the Nice system's classification system in their work.
What Is a Multiple-Class Trademark Application?
Under the Nice system, you will submit a trademark registration application under at least one of the categories the system uses. While it varies by country, many will allow you to include more than one category as part of the trademark application. Other nations will only allow you to include one.
The way the classification system affects the application process is that every category has a unique review process and standards. By applying separately to each category, the trademark application may receive an objection from one category. However, if the application is approved through another category, it will not slow down the application.
Applying for multiple categories with multiple applications will result in higher fees, but may increase the chances of successfully getting approved through one category's standards.
It is worth noting that sometimes having multiple Nice system categories may not be beneficial when applying with one application that consists of multiple categories. If one category's standards finds an egregious problem, it may result in the entire application being slowed down.
By filing multiple applications for different categories, each application on its own likely will not be affected by the others. Even if more costly, this may slow down the process.
In contrast, by filing one application with multiple Nice categories listed, it may save application costs, but an objection under one category may slow down the entire application.
Even if you file under a multi-category application, you will receive just one certificate for the application if approved. It is important to note as well that not all nations allow the multi-category application.
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