Singapore accedes to Locarno Agreement on Industrial Designs

30 June 2020

Singapore accedes to Locarno Agreement on Industrial Designs

On March 19, 2020, Singapore became the 58th member to join the Locarno Agreement, an international agreement on classification of industrial designs. The Locarno Agreement, also known as the Locarno Classification, is a multilateral treaty administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

It will be recalled that Singapore deposited its instrument of accession to the Locarno Agreement with the WIPO on December 19, 2019, establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs through its Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to the World Trade Organization and the WIPO, Hung Seng Tan.

The Locarno Agreement establishes a classification for industrial designs into which goods that constitute the industrial designs belong. The Locarno Classification consists of a list of classes and subclasses, an alphabetical list of goods which constitutes industrial designs, with an indication of the classes and subclasses into which they fall, and some explanatory notes. All official documents and publications of industrial design deposits and registrations now bear design classification classes and subclasses.

Singapore’s accession to the Locarno Agreement is a welcomed development as the filing trend of industrial designs has been increasing upward in Singapore and worldwide. Industrial design applications doubled between 2007 and 2018 to reach 1.02 million according to the WIPO 2019 report. In Singapore, there had been a 16 percent increase in applications for international design registrations in 2019.

With this accession, applicants can now enjoy an international design system and protection for their industrial designs with established international standards and practices. Also, the design search process can now be conducted in a fast and easy manner using the industrial design classifications.

Singapore will now be able to participate in WIPO platforms that discuss developments of the Locarno Classification for the benefit of Singapore’s design community. It is envisaged that this new development in Singapore’s industrial design regime will see a growth in industrial design filings in the coming years and will pave way to a more efficient and applicant-friendly industrial design system in Singapore.

About the author

 Denise Mirandah

Denise Mirandah

As a Director, Denise Mirandah has played a major role in the international promotion of the company, helping to share the family values of Mirandah Asia and its successful one-stop shop approach to IP with clients all over the world.

Denise has had a passion for IP from an early age and, as the daughter of Patrick and Gladys Mirandah, grew up in a household where IP was discussed regularly. She studied her Bachelor of Laws at the prestigious Cambridge University in the UK. There, she underwent rigorous academic training with the world’s most eminent legal minds, including Professor Bill Cornish, a renowned authority on IP law.

During her summer holidays, she attended Harvard University in the US to hone her drafting skills and familiarise herself with the American legal system, voluntarily working as part of Harvard’s pro bono programme in Boston.

Denise has been admitted to the Bar in Singapore since 2009, and in Brunei as of 2017.

 Rudina Ann Pescante

Rudina Ann Pescante

Rudina Ann Pescante is an IP specialist with mirandah asia (singapore). She is a registered chemist and a registered patent agent in the Philippines with extensive experience in patents, IP consultancy, IP management, and freedom to operate opinions.

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