The Geneva Act (1999) of the Hague Agreement for the International Registration of designs (known as the Hague system) provides a practical business solution for registering up to 100 designs in over 68 contracting parties through filing one single international application in a single language, e.g. English. Filing a design application under the Hague system has the potential to save both time and money by enabling applicants to avoid having to file separate applications for registration of the design in each country.
UK businesses have been able to make use of the Hague system by virtue of the UK’s membership of the EU, because the EU is a contracting party of the Hague system. To ensure that UK businesses will continue to be able to make use of the Hague system after the UK leaves the EU, the UK Government has ratified the Geneva Act (1999) of the Hague Agreement for the international registration of designs and this will enter into force in the UK on 13 June 2018. From that date it will be possible to obtain a national design registration in the UK via the Hague System.
Over the last few years, the Hague Agreement has expanded to cover a number of major states including USA, Japan, and Russia. Other states such as China are also expected to join in the future.