CIPO has issued a news release indicating that it will begin accepting trademark applications filed with their goods and services grouped and classed according to the Nice Classification later this year. This international classification standard was established by the Nice Agreement and is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
It is not clear whether this new protocol is voluntary – in other words, the Office has not indicated whether objections will be made if goods and services are not grouped into Nice Classifications, or if the Classifications are incorrect. Moreover, there is no word from the Office yet as to whether there will be additional filing fees required on a per class basis.
The Office has indicated that it will provide online tools to assist with the classification of goods and services, including a redesigned Goods and Services Manual that will assist in identifying the correct class, and improved search functionality that will enable users to search for marks in a particular class of goods and services.