14 March 2018

UK ratifies Hague Agreement

The UK completed the final step in ratifying the Hague Agreement for industrial designs yesterday, after depositing the instrument of ratification in Geneva.

Administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization, the system allows applicants to register an industrial design in any of the currently 67 contracting parties through a single application.

The agreement will come into effect in three months.

The UK’s decision to join the Hague system is about flexibility, according to a statement released by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO), which added that the ratification was part of a wider modernisation programme for designs.

Tim Moss, CEO of the IPO, said: “The UK’s decision to join the Hague system in our national capacity will give businesses a greater choice in how to protect, manage and register their designs internationally, and save them money.”

He noted that design-intensive UK businesses generate more than 11% of the country’s gross domestic product. It’s also estimated that the total investment in intangible assets protected by design rights is more than £14 billion ($15.8 billion).

“Our membership of this international system may also encourage non-UK owners of designs to register their rights in the UK for basing manufacturing, distribution or licensing of their IP,” said Moss.

UK businesses have had access to the Hague system since 2008 through the EU’s membership of it. But up until now, the UK was not a contracting party in its own right.

Did you enjoy reading this story?  Sign up to our free daily newsletters and get stories like this sent straight to your inbox.

Today's top stories

US court cleans up Nestlé’s patent disputes

EU General Court cancels registration of Crocs design

Orrick boosts team with two Arent Fox lawyers

P&G resolves clash over whitening strip patents

Already registered?

Login to your account

To request a FREE 2-week trial subscription, please signup.
NOTE - this can take up to 48hrs to be approved.

Two Weeks Free Trial

For multi-user price options, or to check if your company has an existing subscription that we can add you to for FREE, please email Adrian Tapping at

More on this story

19 March 2015   The UK Intellectual Property Office has revealed that it has received a record number of trademark applications in the last financial year.