Identification of similar goods and services in trademark examination practice in Japan

February 09, 2012

Introduction of relationship between the Niece International Classification and the Similarity Code

Niece International Classification under Japanese trademark practice

  -  A class of goods or services has to be designated according to the regulations based on the Niece International Classification;
  -  The number of classes is a basis of calculating fees for application, registration or others;
  -  The similarity of goods and services is not identified by the Niece International Classification.

Similarity Code

  - Goods and services that are presumed to be similar are categorized into one group. Each group has a unique code consisting of two Arabic numerals plus one roman letter, plus another two Arabic numerals, which is called “Similarity Code”; 
  - The code is used for identifying similarity of goods or services in Japanese examination practice.


Within a same class 
  Class 3 Perfumes(code: 04C01) ≒ Class 3 Lipsticks(code: 04C01) 
       - the goods are deemed similar
  Class 32 Beverages(code: 29C01) ≠ Class 32 Beer(code: 28A02) 
       - the goods are deemed dissimilar

Among different classes
  Class 29 Frozen fruits(code: 32E01)≒ Class 31 Fresh fruits(code: 32E01) 
       - the goods are deemed similar
  Class 30 Tea (code: 29A01) ≠ Class 32 Water (code: 29C01)
       - the goods are deemed dissimilar

Where you can find the list of the Classes and the Similarity Code

The JPO has adopted the tenth Edition of the International Classification of the Nice Agreement. The amended list of classes (“The List of Classes of goods and Services”) is provided on JPO's website. Each good and service in the list has a similarity code.
      (商品及びサービスの類別表(注釈付き)対訳表 )
       (第10版ユーザーガイダンス対訳表 )
   - The List of Classes of Goods in alphabetical order
       (商品(第1類から第34類)全類通しアルファベット順一覧表 日本語訳 類似群コード付)
   - The List of Classes of Services in alphabetical order 
       (サービス(第35類から第45類)全類通しアルファベット順一覧表 日本語訳 類似群コード付)
   - The List of Classes of Goods by class
      (商品(第1類から第34類)類別アルファベット順一覧表 日本語訳 類似群コード付)
   - The Lisf of Classes of Services by class
      (サービス(第35類から第45類)類別アルファベット順一覧表 日本語訳 類似群コード付)

End of report

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