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April 27, 2017

UK: intention to join the Hague System

The UK Minister for Intellectual Property Jo Johnson has made a written statement on the UK’s intention to join the Hague System and the date of the supposed accession.

The Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs enables design owners to get protection of their designs in all contracting parties by filing a single application with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and designation of the member countries in which protection should be sought.

Currently, only designation of EUIPO gives the opportunity to cover the UK when applying for international design registration as EUIPO is a party to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement. In view of the approaching Brexit the decision to accede to the Hague System may become an important step towards ensuring maintenance of high-quality IP rights protection in the UK. Ratification of the Geneva Act is planned for March 31, 2018, while actual entry into force is expected to take place on April 6, 2018.

As a result, applicants from any Contracting Party to the Geneva Act will have the opportunity to designate the United Kingdom directly in an international application. For the UK applicants said ratification will keep the opportunity to obtain design protection abroad via filing an international application.

As for international trademark protection, the United Kingdom has been a party to the Madrid Protocol since 1995. Therefore, exit from the European Union will not anyhow affect this aspect of IP rights protection in the UK.

As the preparations to ratify the Geneva Act have just started, and the process is underway, we will closely follow the developments in the matter and will keep you informed on any updates. For more information on registration of designs and other IP types in the United Kingdom and other countries of your interest, please visit applicant’s guide. We also welcome you to get actual quotes for IP rights protection worldwide via IP-Coster quotation system.

Author: Lynda Miller