Locarno Classification of Designs

Locarno Classification is an international classification created for grouping industrial designs. India became the 57th member of the Agreement on June 7, 2019, and incorporated the Locarno Classification in the Designs Act through Designs (Amendment) Rules, 2021. With this amendment, the classification of industrial designs is standardized with the global classification.

This article sheds light on the basics of the Locarno Classification.

What is the Locarno Classification?

The Locarno Classification was established by the Locarno Agreement (1968), providing internationally adopted classification for the registration of industrial designs.

This agreement created an assembly where participating States are members of the assembly. The agreement also established a Committee of Experts whose primary task is the periodical revision of the classification.

What classes are provided by the Locarno Classification?

The Locarno Classification provides 32 main classes (further divided into subclasses), some of which includes the following:

  • Foodstuffs
  • Brush ware
  • Clothing and haberdashery;
  • Travel goods
  • Textile goods
  • Furnishing
  • Household goods
  • Hardware
  • Packages and containers for the transport
  • Measuring and signaling instruments 
  • Articles of adornment
  • Means of transport and hoisting
  • Electricity Equipment for production/distribution/transformation
  • Communication equipment
  • Lighting apparatus
  • Machines
  • Cinematographic and optical apparatus
  • Musical instruments
  • Office machinery
  • Tobacco and smoker’s supplies
  • Stationery and office equipment 
  • Sale/advertising equipment, signs
  • Games, toys, tents, and sports goods
  • Sanitary/heating/ventilation/air condition equipment 
  • Medical and laboratory equipment
  • Building units and construction elements
  • Pharmaceutical/cosmetic products, toilet articles
  • Accident prevention devices and equipment
  • Articles used for care and handling of animals
  • Machines used preparing for preparation of food/drink
  • Other articles

How is Locarno Classification connected to India?

The notification issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry dated January 25, 2021, introduced the amendment in Design Rules. It substituted Rule 10 sub-rule (1), providing that articles shall be classified as per Locarno Classification published by World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Prior to this 10th edition of the Locarno Classification was incorporated in the 2001 Rules. Earlier, the designs were grouped as per the material of the product. Not adopting the globally accepted system in the country caused obstruction for foreign applicants while protecting their designs in India.

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