Classification agreement

OHIM and WIPO sign classification agreement

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and OHIM, the trade marks and designs registration office of the European Union, have reached an important agreement on future cooperation on trade mark classification, which has the potential to lead to a huge expansion of the number of commonly accepted terms for goods and services in IP offices worldwide.

The agreement was formally signed by OHIM President Wubbo de Boer and WIPO Director General Francis Gurry at the annual European meeting of the International Trademark Association (INTA in Vienna on 3 December.

The collaboration project involves OHIM sharing its classification list of goods and services terms, which is on the way to comprising 100,000 terms translated into 22 languages. The list has been harmonized with the UK, German and Swedish offices and harmonization with more EU offices is foreseen. This lays the foundation for a very significant future expansion of common terms, to achieve a harmonization of practice in classification of goods and services in as many trade mark offices as possible.

OHIM President Wubbo de Boer said the agreement was an important breakthrough in international efforts to remove unnecessary complications for trade mark users. “This is another important step on the way towards the greater simplicity and transparency that global trade mark users have been asking for.”

For more information see: Common Understanding on Synergies between WIPO and OHIM In trade mark classification (PDF)