UK to join international designs system in June

UK to join international designs system in June

14 March 2018

The UK will join the system for international registration of industrial designs on 13th June 2018, following the hand-over of the official ratification documents yesterday.

Being a member of the Hague system allows individuals and businesses to protect designs in countries including the US and Japan with a single application. It will now enable users to choose design protection in the UK for international applications.

This makes the United Kingdom the 54th member of the Hague Agreement and 68th member of the Hague Union. The system is run by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which is part of the United Nations based in Geneva.

The European Union has been a member of the Hague Agreement since 2008, which has given UK businesses access, but the UK’s accession allows for the UK to be designated individually.

On its website the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) said: “The UK’s decision to join the Hague system in a national capacity is about flexibility. It is part of a wider designs modernisation programme to streamline the designs legal framework. Businesses will have a greater choice in how they register their designs internationally.”

The official ratification documents were deposited by Julian Braithwaite, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the UK to the United Nations Office. Mr Braithwaite handed over the documents to Director General of WIPO, Francis Gurry (see picture).

Tim Moss CBE, Chief Executive of the IPO said: “Design intensive UK business generate in excess of 11 per cent of our GDP with a total investment in intangible assets protected by design rights estimated at more than £14 billion.

“The UK’s decision to join the Hague system in our national capacity will give businesses a greater choice in how to protect, manage and register their designs internationally, and save them money.”

CITMA is holding a Designs Seminar in London on 19th April, chaired by David Stone, which will discuss the UK’s accession to Hague. We will also explore current pressing issues and cases in designs.

Photo: CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IGO. WIPO/E.Berrod

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