A Class Act (OK, they’re actually only Regulations)

The Trade Mark class headings in Schedule 1 of the Trade Marks Regulations have been amended by the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Regulator Performance) Regulations 2024 to conform with the 12th edition of the Nice Classification, an international classification system now used by most countries.

Most classes have been affected by the amendments, some in minor ways such as changing the comma after “Firearms” to a semi-colon in the Class 13 heading: “Firearms; ammunition and projectiles; explosives; fireworks”. Some are more significant like adding additional items, such as “Treatment of materials; recycling of waste and trash; air purification and treatment of water; printing services; food and drink preservation” in the heading for Class 40 services.

As was the case before these amendments, IP Australia will accept a class heading as a description of goods or services in an application, but applicants should be aware that this does not mean that the application will then cover all goods/services in the relevant class – only the goods/services actually mentioned in the class heading would be covered. Some protection from the trade mark registration may extend to cover infringing use in relation to similar or closely related goods or services that may not be specifically mentioned in the class heading, although if it is established that the alleged infringing use on similar/closely related goods or services is unlikely to deceive or cause confusion, no infringement will be found.

In conjunction with these amendments, IP Australia have adopted a pick list of goods and services which is identical to the list compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Goods/services not on that list may still be included in an application, but they may then be subject to clarity or classification objections during examination.


Prior to joining the firm, Russell worked as a solicitor with a major Melbourne law firm. His practice encompasses all aspects of trade marks, including searching and advising on the registrability of marks, applying for and obtaining registration of marks in Australia and overseas, and enforcement of trade mark rights.