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For national or international IP protection applicants MUST determine whether their creation is new and novel or similar to a creation owned/claimed by someone else. In order to determine this thorough research is conducted.

International classification facilitates these searches by organizing information with respect to inventions, trademarks and industrial designs into simple, indexed, manageable structures for easy retrieval and perusal by the applicants.

WIPO has classified Intellectual Property into 4 main classifications:

International Patent Classification

Locarno Classification

Nice Classification

Vienna Classification

Classification Description Established By Revised By
International Patent Classification (IPC) It is used to classify patents and utility models according to the different areas of technology pertaining. Strasbourg Agreement in 1971 IPC Committee of Experts.
Locarno Classification (LOC) It classifies goods for registration of industrial designs. Locarno Agreement in 1968 Committee of Experts of the Locarno Union
Nice Classification (NCL) It is international system for classifying goods and services for registering of marks. Nice Agreement in 1957 Committee of Experts
Vienna Classification (VCL) It classifies the figurative elements of marks into categories, divisions and sections according to their shape. Vienna Agreement in 1973 Committee of Experts of the Vienna Union.

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