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Home > Obtaining IP Rights > Trademarks > Information about Classification of Goods and Services > Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services (corresponding to the Nice Classification, 10th Edition, Version 2016)

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Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services (corresponding to the Nice Classification, 10th Edition, Version 2016)

February, 2016

International Trademark Classification Office, Trademark Division

The Japan Patent Office announces that responding to the new revision of Attached Table of Enforcement Regulations of the Trademark Act (Ordinance of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, No. 76 of December 25, 2015), the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services (corresponding to the Nice Classification, 10th Edition, Version 2016) has been revised.

The JPO releases the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services in English as follows.

This Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services is applied to the applications on or after January 1st, 2016.

Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services (corresponding to the Nice Classification, 10th Edition, Version 2016)

List of Errata
The following Guidelines have been corrected.

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Implementation note of the Examination Guidelines for similar goods and services

  1. The Examination Guidelines for similar goods and services, which has been finalized based on the opinions of organizations, is uniform standards for all trademark examiners, and all examinations for similarity of goods or services is in principle conducted in accordance with this Guideline.
  2. In this Guideline, goods or services grouped and enclosed by a rectangle box are in principle presumed to be similar to each other.
    Nevertheless, it should be noted that in examining the similarity of goods or services specifically and individually, or based on the changing actual circumstances of business and economies, there could be some cases in which goods and services that are presumed to be similar according to these guidelines might be recognized to be dissimilar; while goods and services that are not deemed to be similar based on these guidelines might in fact be regarded as similar.
  3. Handling of similar goods and services that are classified under multiple classification
    The number of class which is written in brackets [ ] below the boxes of goods or services indicates that in that class there are goods or services similarly enclosed in other boxes that have the same codes (hereinafter referred to as “similar group codes”) written at the right sides of each respective box, and those goods or services which have the same similar group codes are in principle presumed to be similar to each other even in different classes.
  4. Cross Search
    A Cross Search will be conducted on the scope of goods which are presumed to be similar, for applications designating services prescribed in Article 2(2) of the Trademark Act (Retail and/or Wholesale Services); and a Cross Search will be conducted also on the scope of retail and/or wholesale services that are presumed to be similar, for applications designating goods.
  5. Remarks Columns
    Any similarities of individual goods and/or services are to be indicated in the remarks columns.
  6. Handling goods and services with multiple similar group codes
    Except for cases in which remarks are specifically indicated in the remarks columns, goods and services with multiple similar group codes are presumed to be similar to each other if they are (1) goods and services having the same multiple similar group codes, or (2) goods and services having only one of the multiple similar group codes.
    Therefore, “Electronic publications” (26A01, 26D01) grouped in Class 9 are presumed to be similar to each of the following goods in Class 9: “Downloadable image files”, “Recorded video discs and video tapes” (24E02, 26D01), “Exposed cinematographic films”, “Exposed cinematographic films” and “Slide film mounts” (26D01); and are presumed to be similar to each of the following goods in Class 16: “Printed matter” (26A01) and “Photographs”, “Photograph stands” (26D01).

Reference

  • Asterisk
    An asterisk signifies that the English indication in this Guideline is identical to the English entry of goods and services in the alphabetical list of international classification.
  • Similar Group Codes

Note

An English entry of goods and services do not necessarily guarantee being accepted by the International Bureau (IB) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which international applications for registration should be filed with, as proper indication of goods and services. Please be aware that there may be cases where the WIPO-IB may notify you of there being irregularities in the application even when you choose an English entry of goods and services from this Examination Guidelines.

[Last updated 26 May 2016]

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