Soon it will be possible to seek design protection in the U.S. and Japan through a single international application. Many companies today operate in a global economy and just as in the case of trademarks, it will now be possible to centrally manage design applications in a more efficient and cost saving manner. The United States recently acceded to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs which shall enter into force on 13 May 2015 in the U.S. as well as Japan.
The Hague system offers centralized management of designs through a single application and allows an applicant to register up to 100 patterns in 64 member states including the European Union. Thus, if offers a smooth way to get protection in many markets. You get the same legal protection as if the designs were filed directly with each national office.
Today, an applicant in the United States is required to submit an application for its design in each country it operates individually but now it will be much easier for them to protect their designs in countries that are part of the Hague union.
As the United States and Japan become members, it is expected that it will encourage more countries to join the system.
According to WIPO statistics, 7.1% of the world’s design applications were filed with the national offices in the United States (3.8%) and Japan (3.3%) in the year 2013.
If you have any queries about design protection please contact our patent consultant Christian Hafner +46 8 729 91 18.
Photo: Nick Winslow