Annex A2 - Principles of classification

Date Published


THE PRINCIPLES OF CLASSIFICATION

Many items are already classified in NICE. When however it is necessary to classify an item which does not appear either in the NICE classification or as an Office Determination, the following criteria should be applied:

Classification of Goods

  • FINISHED PRODUCTS are classified, in principle, according to their FUNCTION or PURPOSE.   

(e.g. Water filters are classified in class 11 because their FUNCTION or PURPOSE is to FILTER WATER, and class 11 includes goods for WATER SUPPLY PURPOSES.)

  • If this criterion is not provided for in the list of classes, FINISHED PRODUCTS are classified by ANALOGY with other COMPARABLE finished products contained in the alphabetical list.   

(e.g. Saveloys are classified in class 29 by ANALOGY with SAUSAGES.)

  • If there are no comparable products other criteria may be applied, for example the MATERIAL of which the goods are made or the mode of OPERATION.   

(e.g. Handkerchiefs are classified in class 16 if made of paper and in class 24 if made of materials other than paper. They are classified by MATERIAL.)

  • Finished products which are MULTIPURPOSE COMPOSITE objects may be classified in ALL the classes that correspond to EACH of their FUNCTIONS or INTENDED PURPOSES.   

(e.g. Clock radios, as COMPOSITE OBJECTS, can be classified in either class 9 or class 14.) An exception to this rule is smart watches which are exclusively classified in class 9.

  • RAW MATERIALS, UNWORKED OR SEMI WORKED, are classified, in principle, according to the MATERIAL of which they consist.   

(e.g. Common metals, unwrought or semi-wrought are classified by MATERIAL in class 6.)

  • Goods intended to form PART OF ANOTHER PRODUCT are, in principle, classified IN THE SAME CLASS as that product, BUT only if these goods cannot normally be used for another purpose.   

(e.g. Straps for wristwatches are classified in class 14 rather than class 18; Vehicle covers {shaped} are classified in class 12, but Vehicle covers {not fitted} are classified in class 22.)

  • Where goods, whether finished or not, are classified according to the MATERIAL of which they are made and where they are made of different materials, such goods are in principle classified according to the material which PREDOMINATES.   

(e.g. Boxes made of metal with plastic trimmings will be classified to class 6, but if the plastic predominates they will be classified in class 20.)

  • Containers ADAPTED to the product they are intended to contain are classified, in principle, IN THE SAME CLASS as the PRODUCT ITSELF.   

(e.g. Violin cases are classified in the same class as violins, in class 15.)

Classification of Services

  • Services are classified, in principle, according to the BRANCHES OF ACTIVITY specified in the headings of the service classes.

(e.g. Medical insurance will be classified according to the primary activity to which it relates. Thus it will be classified in class 36 as an insurance service and NOT class 44 as a medical service. Advice or information on medical insurance will also be classified in class 36.)

  • Alternatively, services are classified by ANALOGY with other COMPARABLE services contained in the alphabetical list.

(e.g. Accounting services are classified by ANALOGY with BUSINESS SERVICES, in class 35.)

  • RENTAL SERVICES are classified, in principle, in the SAME CLASSES as the services provided by means of THE RENTED OBJECT.

(e.g. (a) Rental of telephones is classified in class 38 as this is the same class in which telecommunication services appear. (b) Rental of vehicles is classified in class 39 as a transport service, however rental of road sweeping vehicles is classified in class 37 because it is regarded as a cleaning service.)

  • ADVICE, INFORMATION and CONSULTANCY SERVICES are classified, in principle, in the SAME CLASSES as the services that correspond to the SUBJECT MATTER of the advice, information or consultancy.  

(e.g. (a) Business management consultancy is classified in Class 35 as this is the same class in which business management services appear. (b) Providing information about beauty care is classified in Class 44 as this is in the same class as beauty care services)

  • Services rendered in the framework of FRANCHISING are classified, in principle, in the same class as the particular services provided BY THE FRANCHISOR. 

(e.g. Business advice relating to franchising is classified in Class 35 with business advice while legal services relating to franchising is classified in Class 45 with legal services)

Amended Reasons

Amended Reason Date Amended

Update to classification of services information.