For an argument and with much precision one can state that, one of the reasons for transition of the world into knowledge driven economy is because of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). The accession to the three WIPO Agreements (i.e., the Nice Agreement, Vienna Agreement and Locarno Agreement) by India supports the statement and the reasons for the same have been discussed below. The three WIPO Agreements have received accession from the Indian Government.[1]The three Agreements were introduced through the WIPO treaties primarily to ease the search for trademarks and industrial designs. In this arena it is significant to understand the prominence of all the three Agreements. A brief understanding of all the three Agreements are as follows:

Nice Agreement

In the area of classification of goods and services for the purpose of registering trademarks and service marks, the Nice Agreement plays a prominent role.

While registering a trademark or service mark it is significant for the trademark offices of contracting states to indicate, in official documents and publications in connection with each registration, the numbers of the classes of the Classification to which the goods or services for which the mark is registered belong.[2] The Nice Agreement is where the Classification is indicated. Under the Nice Classification there is distinctive classes where goods and services could be registered. Classes one to thirty-four which deals with goods and classes thirty-five to forty-five which deals with services.

Vienna Agreement

The Vienna Agreement establishes a Classification for marks that contains or consists of figurative elements.[3]In all the official documents and publications in connection with each registration and renewals of marks, the numbers of the categories, divisions and sections of the Classification to which the figurative elements of those marks belong must be indicated.

Locarno Agreement

Classification of industrial design is established under the Locarno Agreement. In the official documents reflecting the deposit or registration or publications of industrial designs, the Competent offices of the Contracting States must indicate, the numbers of the classes and sub- classes of the Classification to which the goods incorporating the designs belong.[4]


On June 7, 2019, India’s instruments of accession to the three Classification treaties that is, the Nice Agreement, Vienna Agreement and the Locarno Agreement was received by WIPO Director General Francis Gurry from Ambassador Rajiv K. Chander, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva. To quote the delightful statement by the Director General of WIPO, Frances Gurry:

“We’re absolutely delighted that India today has deposited its instruments of accession to three classification treaties. India has been extremely active in the field of intellectual property and in international cooperation in the field of intellectual property in recent years. This deep engagement on the part of India in the World Intellectual Property Organization and in the international intellectual property system is extremely welcome.”[5]

India is now the 88th member of the Nice Agreement, 34th member of the Vienna Agreement, and 57th member of the Locarno Agreement. By acceding to the WIPO Agreement, India would be deriving the following benefits:

  • There would be harmonization of Classification systems of trademark and design application with the global applications,
  • It creates an opportunity to include Indian designs, figurative elements and goods in the international classification systems,
  • Install confidence in foreign investors about investments in India and protection of their intellectual properties in India,
  • The accession would also facilitate in utilizing rights in decision-making processes regarding review and revision of the classification under the Agreement.

Considering the above factors, it could be stated that, the accession to the WIPO Agreement, has turned to be fruitful to India and is a step towards knowledge driven economy.



[1] Cabinet Approves proposal for accession of India to the Nice Agreement, the Vienna Agreement and the Locarno Agreement, (June 10, 2019, 16:03),

[2] Nice Agreement Concerning the International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks, (June 10, 2019, 16:10),

[3] Summary of the Vienna Agreement Establishing an International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks, (June 10, 2019, 16:21),

[4] Locarno Agreement Establishing an International Classification for Industrial Designs, (June 10, 2019, 16:28),

[5]India Joins Three Key WIPO International Classification Treaties, (June 10, 2019, 16:46),



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