What is the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods & Services?
The Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods & Services were made for mainly the following purposes:
- Showing examples of acceptable descriptions of goods and services in each of 1 to 45 classes under the Nice Classification;
- Showing relations for similarity of goods or services.
How to Use the Guidelines
- The descriptions of goods and services listed in the guidelines shall be accepted by the Japan Patent Office (JPO). Descriptions of goods and services other than those listed in the guidelines can also be accepted if they are enough clear and concrete to be classified. The guidelines can also be used to anticipate whether non-listed descriptions of goods or services would be accepted.
- The “similar group code”, which consists of 5-digit letters and is allotted to each goods and services, indicates similarity of goods or services. The goods or services fallen in the same “similar group code” shall be presumed as similar to each other by the JPO. However, we should note that it does not determine but just “presume” the similarity of the goods or services. That’s why the presumed similarity can be denied by proving they are dissimilar actually.
- The guidelines show acceptable broad indications of goods and services and more specific items interpreted to be included in each of the broad indications. As the specific items which such broad indications can cover should differ depending on the country, the person who is about to file a trademark application in Japan needs to learn the guidelines.