Madrid System:  WIPO Publishes its "Examination Guidelines Concerning the Classification of Goods and Services in International Applications (March 2017)"

Announcement Description

WIPO Publishes its "Examination Guidelines Concerning the Classification of Goods and Services in International Applications (March 2017)"


In an effort to better communicate the internal policies on classification applied by its Madrid System examiners, WIPO has published its “Examination Guidelines Concerning the Classification of Goods and Services in International Applications” (Guidelines).  

As stated on the WIPO website:  “Every international trademark application filed through WIPO’s Madrid System must include a list of the goods and services covered by your mark. Your list should be clear and concise, and must follow specific rules on how to categorize (or “classify”) each item—in short, it must comply with the principles of the International Classification of Goods and Services or “Nice Classification."   If these requirements are not met, your application will not pass examination and an “irregularity” notice will be issued.”


Another important point raised by WIPO is the benefit of using the Madrid Goods and Services Manager (MGS)​—WIPO’s database of goods and services that are acceptable to the International Bureau and more—in conjunction with the new Guidelines. 

“And more” refers to such features as the 18 languages in which the content of the MGS is available as well as the ability to translate from any one language to another (useful for enforcement), the “Check acceptance by a designated Contracting Party” feature (32 plus Canada) that indicates whether a particular good or service that is accepted by the International Bureau will be rejected nevertheless by a national or regional office for one reason or another (e.g., a higher standard of specificity) and the inclusion of group codes for Japan and Korea as well as an ability to search all terms that fall within a given group code.


While the Guidelines and MGS may not eliminate the need to consult national or regional databases of acceptable goods and services, they are useful tools—perhaps indispensable in view of Article 3(2) of the Madrid Protocol and Rules 12 and 13 of the Common Regulations—for drafting indications of goods and services in international applications, and even in national or regional applications which may become the subject of an international application.


More Information

General information on how to use the Guidelines in conjunction with the MGS database may be found here.

General information about the ever-increasing capabilities of the MGS database may be found here

The most recent official publications released by WIPO regarding the MGS database include:

1) "New Version of the Madrid Goods and Services Manager (MGS)​," Information Notice 16/2016 (March 22, 2016)


2) “Progress Report on the Madrid System Goods and Services Database,” Madrid Union Assembly document MM/A/50/1 (July 4, 2016)


All legal texts of the Madrid System, including the Madrid Protocol and the Common Regulations​, may be found here.





Created at 4/17/2017 2:11 PM by Alan Datri
Last modified at 6/12/2017 11:58 AM by Alan Datri