The Intellectual Property Office of Vietnam (IPVN) has just issued Notice No. 11953/TB-SHTT dated 21 December 2021 regarding the use of the Locarno Classification 13th edition (LOC (13)) under the Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs. Accordingly, the LOC (13) will be applied for design applications filed from 1 January 2022.
As noted by WIPO, the LOC is an international classification system used to classify goods for the purposes of the registration of industrial designs; it comprises:
- a list of classes and subclasses;
- an alphabetical list of goods which constitute industrial designs, with an indication of the classes and subclasses into which they fall;
- explanatory notes.
Vietnam uses the LOC although it is not a member of the Locarno Agreement. However, the use of the LOC (13) is a good news for applicants. The IPVN has used the LOC 8th edition since 1 April 2005. The non-use of the LOC 9th-12th editions causes several issues in the context of increasing developments of new products. For example, some new products may not be present in the LOC (8), and the exact classification of these products becomes difficult. Nevertheless, if an applicant incorrectly classifies when filing the design application, resulting in an incorrect subclass symbol stated in the application form, the IPVN will re-classify and charge a prescribed classification fee.
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By Dinh Thi Thuy Trang
Patent Department – INVESTIP IP LAW FIRM