1. What is TMclass?
TMclass is a search tool that enables you to find the appropriate term and the corresponding class or classes to describe your Goods and Services for your trademark application.
TMclass is the interface to the Harmonised Database and a portal from which you can access the classification databases of each of the participating offices highlighted on the homepage.
The HDB contains more than 78 000 terms that have been pre-validated by the EU trademark offices (Harmonised Offices) and which can be searched via TMclass. It is also possible to see terms of Goods and Services that have been accepted by other participating offices.
TMclass is available in 37 working languages of the participating offices. It is designed to be a user-friendly tool and offers advanced features to browse and search the database, verify terms between different classification databases and to translate terms.
2. What are the advantages of using TMclass?
- HDB terms can be searched quickly via the Taxonomy structure.
- Terms from the classification database of one participating office can be verified against those of other offices of the same working language.
- Terms and lists of terms can be translated via the translation module.
- It has an easy-to-use layout with multilingual features.
- It is accessible anytime, anywhere and at no cost.
- It provides direct links to participating office websites.
3. What is TMclass Taxonomy?
The Taxonomy is a classification assistant that allows you to navigate the Harmonised Database and search for Goods and Services terms in a quick and intuitive manner. It provides an overview and understanding of how and where Goods and Services are classified by showing at one glance the full hierarchical structure of the class.
The Taxonomy is based on the 45 Class Headings of the Nice Classification (34 for Goods and 11 for Services). Each Nice class is divided into groups of terms of similar characteristics and the groups ordered within a hierarchy ranging from the more general to the more specific. Each grouping has a “Group title” that is coherent with the current market situation and which bears reference to the relevant Nice Class Heading.
4. Is the Taxonomy a new classification system?
The Taxonomy is not an alternative to the Nice Classification, neither is it a new system of classification – the Taxonomy merely provides a definitive structure, through concept, relationship and market expectation, to the existing terms within the Harmonised Database to help ensure adequate and relevant protection in trademark applications.
The Taxonomy structure has no legal effect in trademark examination or in the comparison of Goods and Services. The scope of protection is defined by the natural meaning of the term only, not by its position in the Taxonomy Tree.
5. What is the Harmonised Database?
The Harmonised Database (HDB) is the EU common list of terms of Goods and Services. It contains more than 78 000 terms pre-validated by the EU trademark offices.
The Harmonised Database is a multilingual database with terms available in all 23 official EU languages. The full content and structure of the database is displayed within the TMclass Taxonomy which organises the terms into a coherent hierarchical structure to facilitate the location of the required terminology.
The HDB is updated on a monthly basis by EUIPO and the European trademark offices via the harmonised workflow. Expansion of the HDB is an on-going activity, initiatives for which include the incorporation of terms from other international classification databases such as the TM5 ID list and WIPO’s MGS list.
6. What are the benefits of using the Harmonised Database?
- Access to the world’s largest classification database containing more than 78 000 Goods and Services terms pre-validated by all EU trademark offices.
- Avoidance of objections/deficiencies in the examination process.
- Provision of terms in all 23 official languages of the EU.
- Availability of high quality terminology which has been fully revised by linguistic experts at EUIPO and by classification experts from each of the National Offices.
- It is a trusted source updated by EUIPO and the EU trademark offices via a democratic workflow process.
- Simple creation of lists of Goods and Services terms that will be accepted throughout the EU and beyond.
- Predictability and transparency to users.
- Ability to file applications at EUIPO via the Fast Track procedure which entails the obligatory use of the pre-validated HDB terms.
7. What data can I find in the Harmonised Database?
The Harmonised Database is a list of acceptable terms for Goods and Services agreed by all EU national trademark offices. The content of the HDB includes:
- The full Nice Alphabetical List (the Nice Committee of Experts discusses and accepts a new version of the Nice Classification every year and a new edition every 5 years).
- ID list terms (the ID-list is a pre-approved list of Goods and Services shared between the TM5 partners: JPO (Japan), KIPO (Korea), CNIPA (China), USPTO (USA) and EUIPO.
- MGS list terms (the Madrid Goods and Services database is a collection of terms pre-approved by WIPO for international applications under the Madrid System).
- All additional Goods and Services terms accepted for inclusion in the database through the harmonised workflow.
8. How is the Harmonised database updated?
The Harmonised Database is a live set of terms that is updated in an open and transparent way by all National Offices. The harmonised workflow between the EUIPO and the National Offices allows for an on-going maintenance and development of database content, and ensures that it is coherent with the real market situation and latest tendencies.
National Offices can propose new terms for creation according to market needs and propose the deletion of terms that have become out-dated over time. When a new term is proposed, it is translated into all the official EU languages and then voted upon as to whether it can be included in the HDB. This voting process takes place via the Terminology Maintenance Console (TMC).
9. May users propose the addition of new terms to the Harmonised Database?
Yes, users are also free to propose new terms to the Harmonised Database. If you do not find the Goods and Services you are looking for or an equivalent concept, you can suggest this be added to the database by sending an email to: email@example.com or by contacting the appropriate office whose details can be found on the TMclass website.
10. How can I find the right term and class in the Harmonised Database?
There are two ways to search for terms in the Harmonised Database in TMclass:
- If you are not sure which term you are looking for, you can browse the full taxonomy structure in TMclass and display the corresponding Group titles and subgroups. On the left you will see all 45 Nice classes which can individually be opened up to reveal the groups below. This provides you with an immediate overview of which Goods and Services are in each class.
- If you already know which Goods and Services you are interested in and the term(s) for which you need to find class number(s), you can perform a search. On the right you will see all terms that contain the word(s) you have searched for. On the left, in the taxonomy tree, you will see where those terms are located within the 45 classes. This will allow you to focus on the groups of terms that you are interested in.
For more information on how to use TMclass you can refer to the Tutorials and Help section available in the top and bottom navigation menus of the homepage.
11. How can I translate a term?
Whenever you select a Good or Service from the Harmonised Database you can be sure that it will be accepted for classification purposes. The equivalent linguistic version in all official EU languages can be seen in a pop-up window by clicking on the chosen term.
In TMclass you will also find a translation option that allows you to translate either a single term or a list of terms created in the tool. You will find the translation features, “Translate term” or “Translate list of terms” in the dropdown menu of the Translation Tools tab located in the top navigation bar.
For more information on how to translate a term or a list of terms in TMclass, see the Tutorials and Help section available in the top and bottom navigation menus of the homepage.
12. How can I check if terms are accepted by other trademark offices?
One of the main features in TMclass is the “Verify list of terms” function available in the dropdown menu under the Classification Tools tab located in the top navigation bar.
“Verify list of terms” allows you to validate the list of Goods and Services terms you have selected in one office within the databases of other trademark Offices.
The verification of terms is language dependent, meaning you can only verify terms from offices with the same working language.
For more information on how to verify a list of terms in TMclass, see the Tutorials and Help section available in the top and bottom navigation menus of the homepage.
13. Why are my selected terms rejected when submitting my trademark application through the five-step Fast Track procedure (E-filing)?
In order to have your trademark application processed as Fast Track on E-filing, it is a pre-requisite to use terms from the Harmonised Database (HDB). Terms that are not included in the HDB will not be accepted.