Nice Classification for Canadian Trademarks

The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (“CIPO”) adopted the international Nice Classification for trademark applications in 2015.

As of January 1, 2017, CIPO applies the 11th Edition of the Nice Classification to all New applications.
If you have filed your application prior to January 1, 2017, and have chosen to submit a Revised application, you may choose to continue using the previous edition of the Nice Classification or you may choose to use the 11th Edition of the Nice Classification. Once you move to the 11th Edition you will not be permitted to return to the previous edition after your Revised application has been submitted.

Trademark applicants have access a web-based trademark goods and services tool to help them to classify the goods and services in their trademark application according to the Nice Classification. While CIPO encourages applicants to file their trademark applications using the Nice Classification, it is not mandatory yet. By grouping the goods and services early, you will be accelerating the registration and renewal process, once Bill C-31 comes into force.

Nice Classification Practice Notice

Publication Date: 2015-09-28

This practice notice comes into effect on September 28th, 2015, at which time the Registrar of Trade-marks will accept goods and services grouped and classed according to the Nice Classification.

As the proposed legislative changes relating to the classification of goods and services according to the Nice Agreement contained in Bill C-31 are not yet in force, the provision of Nice classes is voluntary at this time.

Where the Trademarks Office does not agree with the classification provided by the applicant and where the trademark has not yet been advertised pursuant to section 37 of the Trade-marks Act, the Registrar shall cause the application to be advertised in the Journal without the Nice Classification if no other requirements and/or objections are outstanding.

The Office will not grant extensions of time to allow the applicant to amend the application to include Nice classes.

This practice notice is intended to provide guidance on current Trademarks Office practice and interpretation of relevant legislation. However, in the event of any inconsistency between this notice and the applicable legislation, the legislation must be followed.

Date modified: 2015-09-28


Stay tuned for more information on the upcoming changes to trademark tools and services at CIPO.

Click to read changes in Canadian Trademarks Act legislation

By David Michaels

David Michaels, J.D., B.Eng., CHRM is a trained attorney who holds certificates in Canadian Trademark Law (2012) and Canadian Patent Law (1996) from McGill University. He has worked in the area of trademark law in Canada since 1995 and in the USA since 1993. David is a legal blogger, brand consultant, an eCommerce entrepreneur, and an aeronautical engineer. Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the author's notes of the current state of trademark law and should not be attributed as opinions of the author, his employer, clients or the sponsors of The author does not warrant that these notes are up-to-date. Trademark law is constantly changing and it varies between jurisdictions and even within jurisdictions. This website should not be relied upon.