India has joined three WIPO administered classification treaties designed to ease the search for trademarks and industrial designs. These treaties are the Nice Agreement, the Vienne Agreement and the Locarno Agreement. The treaties will enter into force on September 7, 2019. Although the Trade Marks Registry and the Designs Office have followed the classification systems under these treaties for some time, India has only now formally acceded to these treaties.
The Nice Classification was established by the Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks groups goods and services into 34 classes of goods and 11 classes of services. The Vienna Classification is an international classification system used to classify the figurative elements of marks. The Locarno classification is a classification destined for industrial designs. The Locarno classification contains a list of 32 classes and 219 subclasses with explanatory notes, as well as an alphabetical list of products to which industrial designs are incorporated, indicating the classes and subclasses to which they belong.
India’s accession to these treaties is an important development in the country’s modernization of its IP systems. By formally acceding to these treaties, India has demonstrated yet another step in its efforts to harmonize its IP systems with global IP systems. Not only will this development encourage foreign applicants, but also pave the way for streamlining the procedures for IP practitioners in the country.