28 June 2018

UK joins the Hague Agreement

The Hague Agreement allows applicants to register an industrial design by filing a single application with the International Bureau of WIPO, enabling design owners to protect their designs with minimum formalities in multiple countries or regions. The Hague Agreement also simplifies the management of an industrial design registration, since it is possible to record subsequent changes and to renew the international registration through a single procedural step.

International applications may include up to 100 designs, provided they all belong to the same class of the International Classification for Industrial Designs (Locarno Classification). Applicants may choose to file an application in English, French or Spanish. International applications must contain one or several reproductions of the industrial design(s) and must designate at least one Contracting Party.

Each Contracting Party designated by the applicant may refuse protection within 6 months, or possibly 12 months under the 1999 Act, from the date of publication of the international registration. Refusal of protection can only be based on requirements of the domestic law other than the formalities and administrative acts to be accomplished under the domestic law by the office of the Contracting Party that refuses protection.

If no refusal is notified by a given designated Contracting Party within the prescribed time limit (or if such refusal has subsequently been withdrawn), the international registration has effect as a grant of protection in that Contracting Party, under the law of that Contracting Party.

The term of protection is five years, renewable for at least one five-year period under the 1960 Act, or two such periods under the 1999 Act. If the legislation of a Contracting Party provides for a longer term of protection, protection of the same duration shall, on the basis of the international registration and its renewals, be granted in that Contracting Party to designs that have been the subject of an international registration. To facilitate access to the Hague system for design creators from least developed countries (LDCs), the fees for an international application are, in their case, reduced to 10 per cent of the prescribed amounts.

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