Classification principles and sources of information

This section about the principles of classification provides further details about the international classification system for goods and services called the Nice Agreement. The Nice Classification is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and it has been adopted by many countries.

The basis for classifying goods and services lies in the class headings, the related explanatory notes, the alphabetical list of goods and services and the general remarks. The following text gives more information about these.

Class headings

Class headings provide you with a general overview of what sorts of goods or services are included in each class. The terms used in the class headings are general expressions describing the goods or services that primarily belong to the class in question.

Go to Class headings.

Explanatory notes for class headings

The explanatory notes for each class describe the types of goods or services included in the class. For example, the explanatory notes for education services in class 41 specify that they refer to services intended for the development of the mental faculties of persons. In some cases, the explanatory notes also state what the class does not include.

Go to Class headings with explanatory notes.

Alphabetical List

The alphabetical list of the Nice Classification is available in the TMclass database. You can search there for classification terms, i.e. indications of goods and services, which are included in Finnish, Swedish and English in the Nice Alphabetical List.

Go to the Nice Alphabetical List on the WIPO website.

Go to the TMclass database on the EUIPO website.

General remarks

If it is not possible to classify a product or a service on the above grounds, it is done according to the principles stated in the general remarks.

Example: Class 25 for clothing does not cover clothing for protection against accidents, radiation and fire. Such protective clothing belongs to Class 9 because, according to the Explanatory Notes, Class 25 does not include certain clothing and footwear for special use.

Go to General remarks.

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Latest update 07.07.2021