Designs & Copyright
Posted on 15/3/2018

UK ratifies the Hague Agreement on industrial designs

The ratification of this agreement provides certainty for design owners post-Brexit.

The Hague system is a cost-effective and efficient way to register designs. It allows a designer or company to register up to 100 designs in up to 68 countries and intergovernmental organisations by filing a single application.

Previously a UK designer or applicant could only use the Hague system through the UK’s membership of the EU (which is a party to the Agreement).

With Brexit looming, there has been huge uncertainty as to whether UK applicants would be able to continue to use the Hague system after the UK leaves the EU, as there has been no agreement on whether the UK will remain a participant in the EU Registered Design system post-Brexit.

With the UK’s separate ratification of the Hague Agreement, from 13 June 2018 UK applicants can obtain a UK registered design right directly via the Hague system. So, whether or not the UK remains part of the EU Registered Design system following Brexit, it will still be possible for UK applicants to use the Hague system and for all applicants to obtain protection in the UK and abroad via the Hague system.

The Hague system’s main draw is that it significantly cuts down costs by avoiding or reducing the need to use local representatives in foreign countries (though for some countries, it may still be mandatory or recommended, even when using the Hague system).

With the Hague system, your Wilson Gunn attorney can file a Hague design, covering many countries and regions, including the EU, USA and Japan, and take the application forward to registration in a unified process.

With more and more countries joining the Hague system (Russia recently joined, and China, Canada and others are in the process of joining) we recommend that our UK clients use the Hague system whenever possible.

For more information please contact us.

Wilson Gunn