Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs

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Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs
Signed 6 November 1925 (The Hague)
2 June 1934 (London revision)
14 July 1967 (Stockholm revision)
2 July 1999 (Geneva revision)
Location The Hague
Effective 1 June 1928
Parties 60[1]

The Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs, also known as the Hague system provides a mechanism for registering an industrial design in several countries by means of a single application, filed in one language, with one set of fees. The system is administered by WIPO.


The Hague Agreement consists of several separate treaties,[2] the most important of which are: the London Act of 2 June 1934,[3] the Hague Act of 28 November 1960,[4] and the Geneva Act of 2 July 1999.[5]

Countries can sign up to the 1960 (Hague) Act, the 1999 (Geneva) Act, or both (the 1934 Act is frozen as of 1 January 2010). If a country signs up to only one Act, then applicants from that country can only use the Hague system to obtain protection for their designs in other countries which are signed up to the same Act. For instance, because the European Union has only signed up to the 1999 (Geneva) Act, applicants which qualify to use the Hague system because their domicile is in the European Union can only get protection in countries which have also signed up to the 1999 Act or to both the 1999 and 1960 Acts.

Contracting Parties (member countries)[edit]

A list of the Contracting Parties is maintained by WIPO.

Qualification to use the Hague system[edit]

Applicants can qualify to use the Hague system on the basis of any of the following criteria:

  • the applicant is a national of a Contracting Party (i.e. member country)
  • the applicant is domiciled in a Contracting Party
  • the applicant has a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in a Contracting Party
  • the applicant has its habitual residence in a Contracting Party (only available if the Contracting Party in question has adhered to the 1999 (Geneva) Act)

An applicant who does not qualify under one of these headings cannot use the Hague system. The Contracting Parties include not only individual countries, but also intergovernmental organisations such as the African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI) and the European Union. This means an applicant domiciled in an EU member country that is not a Contracting Party, such as Austria or the United Kingdom, can nevertheless use the Hague system on the basis of his or her domicile in the European Union.

Application requirements[edit]

An application may be filed in English, French, or Spanish, at the choice of the applicant. The application must contain one or more views of the designs concerned and can include up to 100 different designs provided that the designs are all in the same class of the International Classification of Industrial Designs (Locarno Classification).

The application fee is composed of three types of fees: a basic fee, a publication fee, and a designation fee for each designated Contracting Party.

Examination and registration procedure[edit]

The application is examined for formal requirements by the International Bureau of WIPO, which provides the applicant with the opportunity to correct certain irregularities in the application. Once the formal requirements have been met, it is recorded in the International Register and details are published electronically in the International Designs Bulletin on the WIPO website.

If any designated Contracting Party considers that a design which has been registered for protection in that Contracting Party does not meet its domestic criteria for registrability (e.g. it finds that the design is not novel), it must notify the International Bureau that it refuses the registration for that Contracting Party. In every Contracting Party that does not issue such a refusal, the international registration takes effect and provides the same protection as if the design(s) had been registered under the domestic law of that Contracting Party.

Duration & renewal[edit]

The duration of an international registration is five years, extendable in further five-year periods up to the maximum duration permitted by each Contracting Party.

Renewals are handled centrally by the International Bureau. The applicant pays a renewal fee and notifies the International Bureau of the countries for which the registration is to be renewed.


  1. ^ Party to any of the treaties
  2. ^ Full texts of the Hague Agreement, Regulations and Administrative Instructions. WIPO
  3. ^ London Act of the Hague Agreement. WIPO
  4. ^ Hague Act of the Hague Agreement. WIPO
  5. ^ Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement. WIPO

External links[edit]