June 2018 saw the UK ratify its agreement to join the Hague Agreement on the International Registration of Industrial Designs which will provide simple and cost-effective registration system through a single application accessing design protection in partaking countries. A single application allows you to register up to 100 industrial designs in 68 countries and intergovernmental organizations. By using Hague, you do away with the need to file applications in each individual country/region.
“One application, one set of fees, and all in one language – industrial design registration made easy!” says a WIPO representative.
Dids Macdonald, OBE., said, “ACID welcomes this move to help UK designers and so long as the application process is simple and easily accessible with the right guidelines this should prove an invaluable tool in any proactive IP strategy to help international design protection.”
All Contracting Parties to the Hague Agreement are listed on the WIPO website.
The UK membership to the Hague registration system will enable UK designers, particularly SMEs, to take full advantage of the flexibility and greater choice when registering their designs internationally and save money on design registrations.
The Hague System of international registration of industrial designs is administered by the International Bureau (IB) which maintains the International Register and publishes the International Designs Bulletin. And all applications should be filed directly with the IB.
ACID’s quick Q & A
How long does it last? Renewable after five years (with a 6-month grace-period) following which there are various terms of 15 and 25 years depending on circumstances.
Watchpoints – Reproductions of a design – The criteria for reproductions of your design may differ in each territory and to help designers WIPO have produced helpful guidelines so that applicants do not fall foul of non-compliance.
What will it cost? There are 3 sets of fees: a basic fee, a publication fee and, in respect of each Contracting Party where protection is sought, either a standard or an individual designation fee. The amounts of the fees payable are set out in the Schedule of Fees Calculator.
Examination – Like the UK and EU, WIPO does not examine designs but once the design is published each national designated office carries out an examination based on current national IP law.
Deferment of publication – Part of a marketing strategy may be to defer publication and the Hague allows for a maximum of 30 months.
The UK Intellectual Property Office have provided some very useful guidelines for designers wishing to access the Hague System.
For any further questions on the Hague system contact: WIPO, Hague Registry, Brands & Designs Sector, World Intellectual Property Organization, 34, Chemin des Colombettes, 1211 Geneva 20 Switzerland.