On 24 August 2017 Vietnam’s National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) announced that from 1 October 2017, the classification of goods and services for trade mark registrations in Vietnam will follow the Vietnamese translation of the 11th Edition of the Nice Classification.

The Nice Classification, established by the Nice Agreement (1957), is the international classification of goods and services used for the registration of trade marks. The 11th Edition is the latest edition of the Nice Classification, which entered into force on 1 January 2017.

Although Vietnam is not a member of the Nice Agreement, it has long used the International Classification of goods and services as specified in the Nice Agreement for the purposes of trade mark registrations. The adoption of the 11th edition of the Nice Classification – and, in particular, the timely release of the Vietnamese translation – demonstrates a significant effort by the NOIP to improve the Vietnam trade mark examination practice in alignment with best international trade mark practices.

Major changes in the 11th Edition include:

  • reclassification of a number of goods and services, most notably, serving utensils are now all classified in Class 21 instead of Class 8;
  • the addition or deletion of a number of goods and services in various Classes. Remarkably, 330 new goods and service items have been added, for example:
    • herbal extracts for cosmetic purposes in Class 3;
    • herbal extracts and physiotherapy preparations for medical purposes in Class 5;
    • juice extractors (electric) in Class 7;
    • body composition monitors in Class 10;
    • eyelash brushes and foam toe separators for use in pedicures in Class 21;
    • car sharing services in Class 39;
    • service for unlocking of mobile phones in Class 42;
    • Internet domain name leasing, dog walking, kimono dressing assistance, and conducting religious ceremonies services in Class 45.
  • Amendments to various Class headings particularly for Classes 3, 6, 10, 14, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 28, 31 and 45;
  • Amendments of the explanatory notes for goods and services in Classes 5, 11, 29, 30, 35, 42 and 44.

A full version of the 11th Edition of the Nice Classification is available at http://www.wipo.int/classifications/nice/en/.

Applications filed after 1 October, 2017, which do not have the designated goods and services classified correctly in accordance with the 11th Edition of the Nice Classification, will be re-classified by the NOIP and the applicant will have to pay all additional classification fees.

Trade mark owners and attorneys will greatly benefit from the adoption of the 11th Edition of the Nice Classification system by the NOIP, given the clarity and more precise classification of goods and services the new system will bring to Vietnam trade mark registration processes.