On 19 June 2012 the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled on the “IP Translator” case (C-307/10) that the goods and services for which the protection of a trademark is sought must be identified by the applicant with sufficient clarity and precision to enable the authorities to determine the extent of the protection conferred by the trademark.

This does not preclude the use of the general indications of the class headings of the Nice International Classification of Goods and Services to identify the goods and services for which the protection of the trademark is sought, provided that such identification is sufficiently clear and precise.

A trademark applicant who uses the general indications of a particular class heading of the Nice Classification to identify the goods or services for which the protection of the trademark is sought must specify whether their application for registration is intended to cover all the goods or services included in the alphabetical list of that class of the Nice Classification, or only some of those goods or services. If the application concerns only some of those goods or services, the applicant is required to specify which of the goods or services in that class are intended to be covered.

In light of the Court’s ruling, the OHIM (Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market) has announced that Community trademark applicants who wish the class heading to cover all of the goods or services included in the alphabetical list of a particular class of the Nice Classification must enclose a Declaration (which does not need to be signed, either by the applicant or the representative) with the e-filing form, stating as follows: by using the Nice Agreement class headings in my list of goods and services, I hereby confirm that I am applying for all of the goods or services included in the alphabetical list of each class filed.

If this declaration is not attached at the time of filing, the OHIM will assume that the applicant is applying for protection for the class heading in the literal meaning of each of the general indications contained therein.

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