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Designs

at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT) develops international design law. Switzerland actively participates in the work of this committee with a delegation composed of representatives of the IPI. The IPI also represents Switzerland in the Working Group on the Legal Development of the Hague System, which simplifies the registration of international designs, and in the Committee of Experts formed to amend the Locarno Classification.

  

The Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications

This standing committee is a body of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Bringing together experts from around the world, it generally meets twice a year to discuss normative work in the field of international design law. It also encourages the harmonisation of national laws. It's currently negotiating a treaty on designs.

  

The Hague System

WIPO administers the international registration system for designs, known as the Hague System. This system makes it possible to register designs in all designated member states by filing one single application with the WIPO. With this centralised application system, applicants don't need to apply to each country individually where they want to obtain protection for their design. The legal framework of this system is provided for by the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs.

The Working Group on the Legal Development of the Hague System discusses rule changes and instructions necessary for the proper development of the system. Switzerland currently holds the presidency of this working group.

  

The Locarno Classification

WIPO also administers the Locarno Classification (LOC). This international classification for industrial designs, established by the Locarno Agreement (1968) , is used for the registration of designs. It consists of classes and sub-classes into which designs are classified. All states party to the Locarno Agreement participate in meetings of a committee of experts which meets at least once every five years to decide on changes to the LOC.