On 19 March 2020, Singapore became the 58th member of the Locarno Agreement, an international agreement on the classification of industrial designs. The Locarno Agreement, also known as the Locarno classification, is a multilateral treaty managed by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). All states parties to the Locarno agreement are members of the Assembly of the Locarno trade union. The Assembly meets in regular sittings every two years. The Assembly addresses all issues relating to the maintenance and development of the Union and the implementation of the Locarno Agreement. The Locarno Agreement created a Union with an assembly. Every MEMBER state of the Union is a member of the Assembly. One of the Assembly`s most important tasks is the adoption of the biennial programme and the EU budget. The Locarno agreement provides for a classification for industrial designs, including products that constitute industrial designs. The Locarno classification consists of a list of classes and subclasses, an alphabetical list of products representing industrial designs, accompanied by a reference to the classes and subclasses in which they fall, as well as some explanatory notes.
All official documents and publications of industrial design filings and records now carry design classification classes and subclasses. The agreement will enter into force on 7 September 2019 with regard to the Republic of India. The agreement also created a committee of experts in which all members of the Union are represented. The Committee`s main task is to regularly review the classification. . With this membership, candidates will now be able to benefit from an international system of design and protection of their industrial designs, with established international standards and practices. Similarly, design research can now be carried out quickly and easily with industrial design rankings. The Director-General of WIPO recalls that all signatures have been made subject to ratification. All master files used to create the online version of the Locarno classification (and other Excel, Word and PDF files) are available for free download.
Each state party to the Locarno Convention is represented on the expert committee established by the agreement. The committee holds its meetings at least every five years. The committee decides on any changes to be included in the Locarno classification, which will then be published as reissues of the classification. The committee also makes recommendations to EU members to facilitate the use of the classification and to promote its uniform application.