As part of its efforts to facilitate consistency and harmonisation for the classification of goods and services internationally, the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Office for the Harmonization of the Internal Market (OHIM) on 15 December 2010.

The MOC will validate an agreed list of goods and services (the “Trilateral List”) which will be acceptable in Singapore, the United States, Japan and the European Union. The Trilateral List is expected to expand the Nice Classification of Goods and Services administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The signing of the MOC is welcome move as it increases certainty in the acceptability of the classification of goods and services before the participating offices, as applicants filing for trade mark protection in two or more of these jurisdictions may generally rely on the same set of goods and services in their applications, resulting in the savings of costs and time.