The Harmonised Database
The Harmonised Database contains more than 70 000 terms from which our users can select the goods and services for which they seek protection in their trade mark applications. This database is used in the European Union Intellectual Property Office's (EUIPO) online trade mark application forms, the Five-step form and the Advanced form, and is made up of terms that have already been accepted by all national intellectual property offices in the European Union (EU).
If you select a goods or services term from the Harmonised Database, it will be accepted when your application is examined by our staff. It will also mean that the term is already translated into all other EU languages (except Irish). Your application will therefore be processed more smoothly as there is no need for EUIPO to translate the terms in your goods and services selection.
You can access the Harmonised Database via four different paths
- Using the Five-step form you will be able to browse or search the database in step 2 of your application, under the Goods and Services section.
- In the Advanced form you just need to click on 'Search' in the 'Goods and Services' section.
- If you wish to prepare your goods and services selection in advance, you can also use our Goods and Services Builder. This tool contains the Harmonised Database terms and allows you to save your list for future applications.
- You can also access the Harmonised Database through TMclass. This is an international database that includes the terms of the Harmonised Database, as well as terms accepted in other countries around the world and by international organisations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization. Checking this database can be useful when you are preparing your application; it will allow you to gain a quick overview of similar trade marks that exist in the market your wish to operate in.
The benefits of the Harmonised Database explained
Trade mark applicants also have much to gain from using the HDB. Here are some of the most compelling reasons to do so:
- Guaranteed acceptance of terms
Classification experts from each EU Member State office have checked every term in the HDB. This means that if you use a HDB term, there is no risk of classification objections to your European Union trade mark (EUTM) or EU national trade mark application.
- Market terms
The HDB has been fed by the lists of goods and services filed in real applications, meaning that the database is in line with market realities. As well as the new terms reflecting the latest business trends, it is continually revised to include the latest Nice Classification updates. Users can contact the EUIPO or national or regional offices to suggest new terms to be added to the database or terms that they would like to see removed.
- Saves time and resources
All HDB terms are pre approved, which means that they are automatically accepted by every EU national and regional IP office, as well as the EUIPO. Users can avoid delays and save money on translations when they want to expand their protection geographically, since lists of goods and services are translated automatically in the HDB. Users who fulfil certain conditions, such as paying up front, can also have their applications published faster with our Fast Track service for trade marks when they use terms from the HDB.
- Greater security and predictability
The taxonomy structure used by the HDB allows users to fully understand the scope of protection offered by general terms. Taxonomy is based on the Nice Classification system and is designed to be simple and accessible, allowing users without any prior knowledge of classification systems to work their way through the hierarchical structure to find the goods and services they need. General terms appear at the top, with more detailed terms (covered by a general description) underneath. Users are assured of the same scope of protection when they use HDB translations to expand geographically.
- Complements pre-clearance guidance
Users, who want to check whether there may be possible conflicts with prior trade marks, can opt to use the goods and services Similarity tool, which allows participating IP Offices to give their opinion on the degree of similarity between goods and/or services. Since the Similarity tool only uses terms from the HDB, users can obtain more accurate information about possible conflicts before they commit to a product or service launch.
Can I suggest new terms for the Harmonised Database?
The Harmonised Database is a dynamic set of terms that is updated in an open and transparent way by all participating offices. If you do not find the goods or services you are looking for, you can suggest new ones using our contact form.
What do our users think?
We use the Harmonised database in the preliminary stages of an application to check whether what we have found for our clients in terms of goods and services is also accepted abroad.