The international registration of industrial models and drawings is made possible by the Hague Agreement, governed by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation, based in Geneva). It is possible to obtain the protection of a design in 91 countries by filing a single international application. The countries are chosen at the time the application is filed.
International designs (models or drawings) may be registered by any citizen of the member States adhering to the Hague Agreement, or by any person domiciled, habitually resident, or who owns an industrial or commercial establishment in the territory of a member State.
Multiple international designs (models or drawings)
Up to 100 models belonging to the same category of goods (according to the Locarno classification) may be filed with a single application, taking advantage of reduced taxation. In this way all possible variants of a design can be protected, making considerable time and cost savings.
Filing of application
Application for an international design (model or drawing) is filed online, with the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation), in one of the three official languages (English, French or Spanish).
Application and requirements examination
In addition to being novel, a design must comply with the legal requirements of the country in which protection is sought. The examination carried out by WIPO is therefore limited to formalities (designation of countries, payment of fees, quality of images etc.), while substantive evaluations (if required) are handled by the National Offices of the countries designated in the application.
Some of the countries performing substantive examinations are: Canada, Japan, South Korea, USA.
Rights conferred by a design and duration of registration
The rights conferred by design registration and the duration of the protection it grants are those expressly provided for in the national legislation of the designated country, or countries. As such, they can vary from country to country. International designs are also subject to the payment of maintenance fees every five years.