Why 'UK joins Hague Agreement' is good news for UK businesses

April 7, 2018

UK businesses will continue to be able to protect their designs internationally by filing only one application after Brexit
Currently, UK resident businesses and individuals can use the Hague System to protect their designs in up to 82 countries because of the status of the UK as a EU member state. All that is required is a single application and payment of one set of fees via the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).
UK businesses have the benefits of the system because the EU is a signatory of the Hague Agreement for Industrial Designs, which governs the Hague System. By ratifying the Hague Agreement in its own capacity as a national state the UK ensures that this flexibility will continue seamlessly after Brexit and will encourage others to protect and exploit their designs in the UK.
The Hague System means that by completing one single application you can apply to register industrial designs in a large number of jurisdictions, including amongst others the EU, Japan, Singapore, Namibia, the USA, or the Republic of Korea. Administration of designs after registration is also simple as change of ownership or address of the holder can be easily recorded for all designated states in the International Register via the International Bureau at WIPO.
This saves time and money.
China is not a signatory and you would still need to file an application at the State Intellectual Property Office in China if you would like to protect your designs in China.
The UK will officially join the Hague System from 13 June 2018.
If you have any questions about protecting your designs internationally, either via the Hague System or nationally in countries that are not signatories please contact Joanna Stephenson, Partner, Joanna.stephenson@jwssllp.com or call the office on +44 20 3701 7395.
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