14 March 2018

UK joins Hague System for registered designs

On 13 March 2018 the UK deposited its instrument of ratification of the Hague Agreement for Industrial Designs, meaning the UK will shortly join the Hague system for registered designs.

The Hague system provides a centralised process for seeking registered design protection in over 80 countries and therefore provides an efficient way to seek registered design protection in multiple jurisdictions.

The UK’s accession to the Hague Agreement will allow (from 13 June 2018) UK-based applicants to access the Hague system directly – rather than as a Member State of the European Union – even after the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Although the Hague system has historically been relatively underused, several major territories have recently joined including the US, Japan and Russia, giving the Hague system renewed interest.

The Hague system is not however without its pitfalls, not least due to nuances in practices and procedures in many of the Contracting Parties. Care must therefore be taken when using the ever-expanding Hague system.

Please click here to read more, and for any questions about the Hague System please contact your Mathys & Squire attorney.