Sun 1st Apr 2018

UK Ratifies Hague Agreement for Industrial Designs

The Hague Agreement or Hague System, is a procedure that allows for the international registration of industrial designs through a single application filed at the International Bureau (IB) of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

On 13th March 2018, the UK deposited its instrument of ratification with WIPO of the Geneva Act (1999 Act) of the Hague Agreement. This made the UK the 54th member of the 1999 Act, and the 68th member of the Hague Union. The 1999 Act is set to enter into force in the UK on 13th June 2018. Click here to read the WIPO news release.


Tim Moss CBE, Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO), said, “The UK’s decision to join the Hague System in our national capacity will give businesses a greater choice in how to protect, manage and register their designs internationally, and save them money." Click here to read the announcement from the UK intellectual Property office.


Although the UK is already a member of the 1999 Act through its current membership to the EU, independent ratification by the UK offers three distinct advantages over the existing membership:

  • offering a higher degree of flexibility to businesses wishing to register designs to cover the UK using the Hague System;
  • providing potential cost savings to UK businesses, for example in, translation, notary, and legal fees, as identified in the IPO consultation report; and
  • safeguarding future access to the Hague System (i.e. international filings) for UK undertakings after the UK departs the EU.


If you have any questions regarding this article, registered designs, or the Hague System, please do not hesitate to contact Ian Whitfield on 0207 831 7929 or email


This briefing is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. We can discuss specific issues and facts on an individual basis. Please note that the law may have changed since the day this was first published in April 2018.


Our offices


+44 20 7831 7929

Bedford House, John Street, London, WC1N 2BF, United Kingdom


+44 20 7831 7929

Suite 3.05, Platform, New Station Street, Leeds, LS1 4JB, United Kingdom


+44 20 7831 7929

Generator Hub, The Gallery, Kings Wharf, The Quay, Exeter, EX2 4AN, United Kingdom


+49 89 5150 5800

Widenmayerstr. 10, D-80538 München, Germany