Frequently Asked Questions: Locarno Classification

The Locarno Classification is an international classification system used to classify goods for the purposes of the registration of industrial designs. The complete title of the Classification is International Classification for Industrial Designs.

The Locarno Agreement is the WIPO-administered multilateral treaty that establishes the Locarno Classification.  It was adopted on October 8, 1968 and amended on September 28, 1979.

The competent offices of the countries party to the Locarno Agreement are required to include in the official documents and publications relating to the deposit or registration of industrial designs the numbers of the classes and subclasses of the Locarno Classification into which the goods that constitute the industrial designs belong.

Use of the Locarno Classification by national offices has the advantage of filing applications for the registration of industrial designs with reference to a single classification system. This procedure facilitates industrial design searches and obviates substantial reclassification work when documents are exchanged at the international level.

The list of contracting parties to the Locarno Agreement is regularly updated.

Use of the Locarno Classification by the competent national offices of the countries party to the Locarno Agreement is mandatory.  The Classification is also applied for the registration of industrial designs by the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), the African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO), the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), as well as by the International Bureau of WIPO in the administration of the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs.

The Locarno Classification consists of a list of classes and subclasses with explanatory notes, as the case may be, and an alphabetical list of goods, which contains more than 5,000 entries in English.  The classes and the subclasses provide a general indication as to the type of goods belonging to each class and subclass.  The explanatory notes give more detailed information about a class in general or a subclass in particular.  The alphabetical list of goods constitutes the most detailed level in the structure.

In order to keep the Locarno Classification up to date, it is continuously revised by the Committee of Experts set up under the Locarno Agreement. It is up to the Committee to determine the revision periods. Since 2017, a new edition of the Classification has been published every two years.

The authentic versions of the Locarno Classification (in English and French) are published online by WIPO. The paper publication has been discontinued. The 10th edition, published in June 2013, was the last printed edition. Since the 11th edition, WIPO publishes the Locarno Classification online only.

"LOCPUB" is the current online official publication of the Locarno Classification. It went live at the end of 2017. It contains the current edition of the Classification as well as links to the previous editions.

The Extended Product Indication Classification (EPIC) is a tree structure that has been developed within each of the 32 classes of the Locarno Classification by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the national trademark offices of the European Union with the collaboration of WIPO. In LOCPUB, the view mode "EPIC" shows the hierarchy structure, and the view mode "LOC + EPIC" shows the goods of the Locarno Classification, arranged according to the hierarchy.

Although based on the Locarno Classification, EPIC does not form part of the official text of the Locarno Classification and therefore has no legal effect in design examination. According to Article 1(3) of the Locarno Agreement, the international classification “shall comprise (i) a list of classes and subclasses; (ii) an alphabetical list of goods in which industrial designs are incorporated, with an indication of the classes and subclasses into which they fall; (iii) explanatory notes.”

The Hierarchy is available in LOCPUB only as an additional tool that can be used to organize large databases of goods by concepts and so to assist users in searching adequate terms for the specification of goods.

The complete Locarno Classification is available only via Internet; there is no printed publication of the Locarno Classification. However, the Internet publication allows for printouts of parts of the Locarno Classification, through the Download and IT Support area.

The Locarno Classification is available for downloading in PDF and XML formats from the Download and IT Support area. The revision files are available in Excel format for the List of Goods and in Word format for the List of Classes, and List of Classes and Subclasses with Explanatory Notes.

For more details, refer to document LOC master files specification.

No, you can download the LOC files, but you have to acknowledge WIPO's copyright if you plan to use the LOC on your site. For more details, please refer to the conditions of use in the Download and IT Support area.

New editions of the Locarno Classification enter into force on January 1 every two years. Six months in advance, the early publication is made available for downloading or consultation.