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US & Japan set to join the Hague System

16 February 2015

The Hague System is administered by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) and allows a single registered design application to be made that can designate several countries, instead of filing separate design applications in multiple countries.

On 13 February 2015 the US and Japan will deposit their instruments of accession (by the Geneva Act of 1999) and it is expected that the Hague System will become effective for the US and Japan in the near future.

The accession of the US and Japan will dramatically increase the attractiveness of the Hague System for design owners wishing to protect their industrial designs internationally. Design right owners around the globe will benefit from cost reductions and procedural efficiencies through this increased accessibility to the Hague System.

This news follows the EU’s accession in 2008 and the Republic of Korea’s accession in 2014, and leaves PR China as the only IP5 Office (the 5 largest Intellectual Property Offices worldwide) yet to join. The accession of Korea paved the way for countries like the US and Japan with substantive examination systems to become a party to the Hague System, whereas the previous system was designed for countries, particularly those in Europe, without substantive examination systems.


For more information about the Hague System please contact Richard Worthington (; +44 1179 253 030) 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, February 2015