Registration of Designs Internationally, is based on the Hague Agreement
Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs
. The system
for International Registration of designs is referred to as the Hague System
is administered by the International Bureau of World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) and consists of 34 Articles dealing with Registration of
Designs. Paris Convention was adopted in 1883 for the protection of Intellectual
Property Rights, it applies to patents, trademarks, industrial designs, etc.
This agreement was the very first step to ensure that the works of the creators
were protected all over the globe. Another Agreement namely, The Locarno
Agreement was established to classify Industrial Designs also known as the
Locarno Classification. It classified the designs under various classes and
Who Can Use the Hague System?
According to Article 3 of the Hague System, any person that is a national of a
State that is a Contracting Party or that has a domicile, a habitual residence
or a real and effective industrial or commercial establishment in the territory
of a Contracting Party, shall be entitled to file an international
The system is not open to everybody; it is only open to applicants who fulfill
the following criteria:
- A citizen of a contracting party;
- A person having a domicile in the terrain of the contracting party;
- Habitual Resident of the parties in contract; or
- The applicant has a real & effective industrial/commercial establishment
in the terrain of the contracting party.
It was only after 1999, that an international application could be filed under
the Hague System.
Where Can the Protection Be Obtained?
Protection can only be obtained in the Contracting states, who are a part of the
same Act as the Contracting State, where the applicant has applied for
registration. For example, if an applicant has claimed entitlement through a
Contracting State bound by The Hague Act, 1960, he can only request safety in
those Contracting States which are bound by The Hague Act, 1960. The Hague
System cannot safeguard a design in a state which is not a party to the Hague
Agreement. In order to shield a design in such a country, the applicant has to
file a national application.
Process for International Registration of Design
The procedure for registration begins with Filing of the Application then a
formal examination of the application is done by the International Bureau.
Subsequently, publication is done in the 0fficial Journal of International
Designs. Next, a substantial examination is done by the contracting parties
where the applicant wants his design to be protected. The last step is the grant
or denial of Registration.
- Filing of the application
Filing of application is a process that has been explained in Article 4 of
the Agreement. Filing for application on the international level is only through
E-filing. E- filing is an easier, inexpensive and a quicker method to file
international application. The Article discusses about two ways in which an
application can be filed; Direct or Indirect Filing.
Direct Filing is done with the IB, where the applicant has to go through
security clearance of the parties to the contract. Whereas, Indirect Filing is a
procedure where the applicant has to file an application through the office of
the applicant’s contracting state.
The International Application has to be in the prescribed language and shall
be accompanied by: Data of the applicant; Copies of Reproduction; In the
prescribed form with the prescribed fee; Details of the designated contracting
party; an indication of the product which constitute the industrial design or in
relation to which the industrial design is to be used.
An international Application can comprise up to 0ne Hundred Designs though
they must be of the same class of the Locarno Classification. The payment of
fees is of three types and has to be done in Swiss francs; The basic fee;
Publication fee; and Fee for each designated Contracting State.
- Formal examination
After receiving the application, the IB indorses that it comprises of all the
relevant information that is needed for a smooth registration process. In case
of any defects, the applicant is informed about it and is asked to correct it
with three months. If the applicant fails to do so, his application will be
considered abandoned. in case of no flaws in the application, the IB will
continue with recording the details in the International register and with
Publication of the registration in the International Designs Bulletin.
- Publication of the Design
After examination of the design and recording it in the International Register,
the IB will Publish the Registration in the International Designs Bulletin. It
takes place after six months of the registration date. It consists of all the
relevant details of the design.
- Substantial Examination
After publication in the International Bulletin, each designated contracting
state has to move forward with substantial examination of such designs. The
Hague System gives power to the office of the contracting state to refuse
protection, in its region, to a design which does not fulfil the substantive
conditions provided by its national law.
- Grant or Denial of Registration
In a situation where the 0ffice finds no grounds for refusing protection, may
issue a grant of protection. The 0ffice of the Contracting Party has the Right
to Refuse, where the conditions or the grant of protection under the law of that
Contracting Party are not met. A Notification of Refusal shall be communicated
by the Office to the International Bureau. Such notification shall state all the
grounds on which the refusal is based.
Duration & Renewal of Protection
A design is granted protection from being exploited; such protection is granted
only for a specific time period. According to Article 17 the Initial Term of
protection is Five Years from the Date of Registration. It further states that
Registration can be renewed for an extra five years only after following the
prescribed procedure and submission of the given fee. In case of renewal of
International Registration, the duration of protection in each of the States
that are a part of the Contract shall be 15 years, from the date of the
After Renewal of Registration is done, the International Bureau will publish a
notice stating the effect.it will send a copy of the same notice to the 0ffice
of the Contracting States as well.
Effect of registration
If the Application of the applicant is not refused by the Selected State within
the prescribed time limit or the refusal has been withdrawn by such state, the
international registration will have the effect as a grant of protection in that
The 0bjective of The Hague Agreement is to protect the Designs that are created
by people. At times an article is bought due to its attractive physical
appearance and not due to its purpose. The significant role of Registration of
Designs is to protect the Artisan, Creator, 0riginator or Inventor of a Design.
0nce a Design is registered, it gives its 0riginator a legal right to take an
action against those persons who violate his right. The main 0bjective is to
protect the 0riginators or the Creators from getting demoralized.
- Article 3 of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International
Registration of Industrial Designs-Entitlement to File an International
- Article 4 of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International
Registration of Industrial Designs discusses about ways in which an
Application can be filed.
- International Bureau of World Intellectual Property Organization
(hereinafter referred to as IB)
- Article 5 of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International
Registration of Industrial Designs- Contents of the International
- The Locarno Agreement also referred as the Locarno Classification has
classified the designs under various classes and sub-classes.
- Article 12 of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International
Registration of Industrial Designs- Refusal of International Application by
the Designated 0ffice of the Contracting State.
- Article 17 of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International
Registration of Industrial Designs talks about the various duration of
Protection of Designs.