The Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs is a treaty that establishes a system for the international registration of industrial designs. It was first signed in 1925 and has been updated several times since then. The agreement is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and currently has 74 member countries.
The purpose of the Hague Agreement is to simplify the process of obtaining industrial design protection in multiple countries. Under the agreement, an applicant can file a single application with WIPO to register their industrial design in any of the member countries. This can save time and money compared to filing separate applications in each individual country.
To be eligible for international registration under the Hague Agreement, an industrial design must meet certain requirements. It must be new and original, meaning it has not been disclosed to the public before the filing date of the application. It must also have an aesthetic or ornamental aspect, meaning it is not purely functional.
Once an application is filed with WIPO, it is examined to ensure it meets the eligibility requirements. If the application is approved, the industrial design is registered and published in the International Designs Bulletin, which is available online. The registration provides protection for the industrial design in all the member countries designated in the application.
The duration of protection under the Hague Agreement varies depending on the country. In most cases, the initial term of protection is five years, with the option to renew for additional five-year terms up to a maximum of 15 or 25 years, depending on the country.
One of the benefits of the Hague Agreement is that it provides a streamlined process for managing and maintaining registered industrial designs. Owners of registered designs can file changes or renewals through WIPO, which will be effective in all the countries where the industrial design is protected.
Overall, the Hague Agreement is a useful tool for businesses and individuals seeking to protect their industrial designs in multiple countries. It provides a convenient and cost-effective way to obtain international protection, and can help to prevent infringement and unauthorized use of valuable designs.