Minister gives green light to Hague10 April 2017
The UK will ratify and join the Hague Agreement for international design registrations in 2018 the Minister for Intellectual Property announced in Parliament recently.
The announcement came last week during a written statement by Jo Johnson MP on the performance targets for the Intellectual Property Office, 2017 – 2018.
He said: “We will have ratified the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement for international registration of designs by 31st March 2018 and be in a position to launch the service on 6th April 2018.”
The Hague Agreement allows designers and businesses to obtain protection for industrial designs in multiple countries with a single application. The European Union is one of 66 members, which gives UK businesses access, however the UK is not currently a member in its own right.
At our Spring Conference in March David Stone reiterated to delegates the benefits for the UK joining the Hague Agreement. And “Brexit makes it even more important for the UK to accede to the Hague Agreement,” he noted.
The UK joining Hague would mean that UK Trade Mark Attorneys could directly file EU Registered Community Designs via the system.
CITMA President Kate O’Rourke said: “We welcome this confirmation from the Minister. Ensuring UK designers, businesses and the creative industries are able to access and benefit from the system is important.”
In 2015 the IPO held on a consultation on whether the UK should adopt the Hague system. The then Minister for Intellectual Property Baroness Neville-Rolfe said in her foreword to the consultation findings: “I believe membership will provide UK designers with greater choice and flexibility when using the international system for protecting rights abroad.”
She also noted that: “Respondents agreed that UK accession to the Hague Agreement would result in a greater flexibility for users and will provide real, tangible economic benefit.”
Registered designs protect the look of products including their appearance, shape, configuration and surface decoration.