What is the purpose of the goods and services classification?

The protection of a trademark can be obtained only in relation to particular goods or services, which are divided into 45 classes according to the International Classification of Nice. This ‘principle of specialty’ is driven by the fact that  identical but clearly not conflicting signs could and should always be able to coexist on the market and in the registers, as is the case with, for example, the trademark Lotus, which has been registered in the name of different holders for cars, biscuits, watches and (formerly) tissues respectively.

Moreover, your trademark must also be put to genuine use. If your trademark hasn’t been used for five consecutive years for the goods or services it has been registered for, third parties can challenge your trademark for non-use and your trademark might be revoked in whole or in part. Therefore, while it might seem tempting to claim a wide range of goods and/or services, it should be taken into account that you might not be able to invoke the protection of your trademark or that you might even lose the registration for all or some of the goods or services covered when the trademark hasn’t been put to genuine use.

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