The International Industrial Design Registration procedure is also known as the Hague System, which allows its users to acquire protection of products’ aesthetic features in over 80 countries that are member states of the Hague Agreement.
Advantages of the International Design Registration
The International Design registration has several advantages for the owner of the IR Design. The application of the International Design Registration is filed in one language – English, French or Spanish; payment of a single set of fees in one currency CHF; resulting in one registration; subsequent changes of all kinds can be managed through a single procedure in very easy steps; IR Design renewal is cheaper and easier to administer. In cases of multiple application up to 100 industrial designs may be registered with 1 application.
Thus, the Hague System creates favorable conditions for quick and cheaper protection of designs in multiple markets, compared to the cumbersome and long-lasting process of filing a whole series of applications for national(or regional) design registrations. The international design procedure eliminates the obligation to file individual design applications in each country or region of interest, where the different requirements of national legislation do not have to be met, at the same time reducing the costs of registering the marks, removing the translation requirements prescribed by each country, avoid the design attorney’s expenses in individual countries, it is not necessary to monitor the different terms of protection in a separate countries and related payments of numberless official fees in various currencies.
What is the effect of IR Design Registration?
From the date of the IR design’s registration and if no refusal is notified by a given designated Contracting Party within the prescribed time limit (or if such refusal has subsequently been withdrawn), the protection of the design in each of the designated countries is the same as if the design had been the subject to national design registration filed directly with the national IP Office of that Contracting Party. Therefore, the International Design registration results in a bundle of national design registrations. However, national laws subsequently govern the allowance of the registration in each territory, albeit the International design application has international character. Hence, an international application may be successful in some designated countries and refused for others.
An international design shall, however, have no effect in the State of origin if the laws of that State so provide.
In contrast to the International Trademark Registration system, applicants for International Design Registrations needn’t have a national/regional application or registration before filing an international design application.