“Standard terms” for trademark registration, what does it mean?

As you can see from the Nice Classification, there are a lot of terms under each Class.

China Trademark Office requires that when filing a trademark application, the applicant must use the standard terms used in the Nice Classification or the China Classification. Otherwise, China Trademark Office will require the applicant to make revision to its satisfaction.

For example, “health food” is not a standard term. If you wish to register your trademark on health food, you may have to choose three standard terms to cover it, “health food supplements made principally of vitamins”, “health food supplements made principally of minerals”, and “health food supplements for persons with special dietary requirements”.

In order to avoid extra costs and time spent in the trademark application process, we strongly recommend our clients to use “standard terms” for trademark registration in China.

Having said that, China Trademark Office published a list of acceptable terms in 2017 which were regarded as non-standard terms and therefore were not acceptable before. Terms in such list are also acceptable to China Trademark Office.