World Intellectual Property Organization

Summary of the Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs (1968)

The Locarno Agreement establishes a classification for industrial designs (the Locarno Classification). The competent offices of the Contracting States must indicate in official documents reflecting the deposit or registration of industrial designs the numbers of the classes and subclasses of the Classification to which the goods incorporating the designs belong. This must also be done in any publication the offices issue in respect of the deposit or registration of industrial designs.

The Classification consists of a list of 32 classes and 219 subclasses and an alphabetical list of goods with an indication of the class and subclass to which each product belongs. The latter comprises approximately 7,000 items.

A Committee of Experts in which all Contracting States are represented, set up under the Agreement, is entrusted with the task of periodically revising the Classification. The current edition is the ninth, which entered into force on January 1, 2009.

The Classification is applied by 52 States party to the Locarno Agreement. The Classification is also applied by the International Bureau of WIPO in the administration of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, and by the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), the Benelux Organisation for Intellectual Property (BOIP) and the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) (OHIM) of the European Union (EU).

The Locarno Agreement, concluded in 1968, was amended in 1979. The Locarno Agreement created a Union, which has an Assembly. Every State that is a member of the Union is a member of the Assembly. Among the most important tasks of the Assembly is the adoption of the biennial program and budget of the Union.

The Agreement is open to States party to the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (1883). Instruments of ratification or accession must be deposited with the Director General of WIPO.

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