With the turn of 2020 to 2021, new versions of the international classification for trademarks, designs and patents, known as the Nice, Locarno and IPC classifications, will also come into force. And by the way: Pay attention to the deadlines at the turn of the year!
New version of the IPC Classification 2021
With the turn of the year, the new version 2021.01 of the International Patent Classification (IPC) comes into force. A total of about 1000 new digits will be added to the IPC, a system with about 76,500 subdivisions. The main changes concern:
- Expansion of the hats and headgear section.
- Numerous new subdivisions for electrolytic or electrophoretic processes
- 70 new jobs in additive manufacturing (in B22F)
- Major change in the area of electrochemical cell manufacturing as well as mobile phone technology
- Numerous new subgroups in the area of authentication and privacy protection
New version of the Nice Classification 2021
The Nice Classification for trademark registrations is also being renewed. As of January 1, 2021, the 2021 version of the 11th edition of the Nice Classification (NCL 11-2021) will apply. This is the usual update that has happened once a year since 2012. There are no major structural changes such as class changes in the current version.
- 3-D printers and industrial robots (Nice grade 7).
- humanoid robots with artificial intelligence (grade 9)
- laboratory robot (grade 9)
- teaching robots (grade 9)
- Robots for security monitoring (grade 9)
- surgical robots (grade 10)
- robot cars (class 12)
- self-playing drums (grade 15)
- toy robots (cl. 28)
New version of the Locarno Classification 2021
The official list of goods Design 2021 for the edition of the International Classification for Industrial Designs (Locarno Classification) has also been updated. Previously, the Locarno Classification divided the various product areas or products into a total of 32 main classes and 237 subclasses. The new version of the list of goods – called the 13th edition – will come into force on January 1, 2021.
Deadlines and information on the holidays
In Germany, it is important to note that Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are not public holidays. For this year 2020, this means with regard to the DPMA that the deadline, should it fall on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, will not be postponed.
Applications, oppositions, objections and other mail items can also be sent to the DPMA over the turn of the year by fax or handed in at the DPMA in Munich at the gate. In addition, the night mailboxes in Jena and Berlin will be used for postings.
The current “transition period” for cloning EU trademarks and EU designs into identical additional UK trademarks and UK designs will end on 31.12.20. In doing so, the term of protection and maturity of the EU IP rights will be transferred to the UK counterpart. It should therefore be noted that the renewals for the “new” UK trademarks and UK designs may be due directly on January 1, 2021.
Procedures in the UK
Proceedings commenced prior to January 1, 2021.
It should be noted that for all proceedings commenced prior to January 1, 2021, an address for service in the UK is not required for those who have an address for service in the EU or EEA. If a change of address is still required in these pending proceedings, it can be made to an address in the EU or EEA.
Those who had an address for service in the UK anyway will of course retain it.
Procedure after January 1, 2021
For all new applications in the UK after January 1, 2021, an address for service in the UK is required. This also applies to applications for trademarks and designs claiming a filing date at EUIPO (under Article 59 of the Withdrawal Agreement). Companies can use the UK branch or UK subsidiary as an address for service.
The National Intellectual Property Office (CNIPA), Trademark Office and Courts in China will be closed from January 1 (Friday) to January 3 (Sunday) 2021 for the New Year holidays. Deadlines for all patent and trademark matters falling within the above period will be postponed to the first business day after the holidays, which is Monday, January 4, 2021.
Please also note: in 2021, a comprehensive revision of the Chinese Patent Law will come into force.
We join you in wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas” and a “Happy New Year”! And of course – stay healthy!
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