UK joins Hague Agreement on Industrial Designs

The UK has joined the Hague Agreement for industrial designs. The UK’s membership will give businesses a greater choice in how they register designs internationally.

The Hague Agreement allows applicants to register a design and gain protection in up to 82 countries through a single international application and a single set of fees. 

Industrial designs may be three or two dimensional and are applied to a wide variety of items: from packages and containers to electronic devices and household goods. 

CIPA President Stephen Jones said: “CIPA welcomes the UK’s ratification of the Hague Agreement for industrial designs. Protection of designs is important for the creative and innovative industries and the increased choice and flexibility available for obtaining that protection will be beneficial to businesses operating internationally.”

The UK instrument of ratification was deposited in Geneva on 13 March, 2018 and will come into effect on 13 June, 2018.  Users will then will be able to designate the UK for international applications under the Agreement from that date.

UK businesses have had to access the Hague Agreement since 2008 through the EU’s membership.  However, after Brexit, this would no longer have been the case.  Members of CIPA’s Copyright and Design Committee have worked with the UK Intellectual Property Office to assist in making the UK’s membership a reality.

Through the UK’s ratification, businesses in the UK both pre and post-Brexit will be able to file online at the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, designating both the UK and the EU without the need for separate representation.