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UK joins the Hague Agreement – Further details

10 May 2018

Further to the news of the ratification of the Hague Agreement by the UK on 13 March this year, the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) has published the following declarations with further information for applicants wishing to register their designs in the UK and abroad in a single application:

–  International registered design applications designating the UK need to be filed through WIPO in Geneva, they cannot be filed at the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) directly. Typically online filing is used as this attracts reduced official fees.

–  In principle, publication of an International registration takes place 6 months after filing. Applicants can make a request for deferred publication, and if the UK is designated the maximum deferred publication period will be 12 months from the filing date or, where priority is claimed, from the priority date. However, applicants need to beware that the deferred publication period is limited by the shortest deferment period, if any, provided amongst all the territories designated in the application.

–  Each designation has its own period of protection, applicable in increments of 5 year periods. The maximum duration of protection provided for by the legislation of the UK in respect of Hague designs is 25 years, which is the same as for a UK registered design filed directly at the UK IPO.

The Hague Agreement enables applicants to seek protection of registered designs/design patents in several territories through a single application. The system is administered by a single body – the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) – and provides a simple and cost-effective solution to multi-regional design protection.

The ratification of the Hague 1999 Act by the UK brings the total number of Contracting Parties to the Hague Agreement to 68 and the accession will become fully effective from 13 June 2018.


Richard Worthington
Designs Group

If you require further information on anything covered in this briefing, please contact Richard Worthington (; 44 20 7940 3600) or your usual contact at the firm. This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

© Withers & Rogers LLP, May 2018