The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) have announced that Japan and the United States of America will join forces with the other signatories to the Hague Agreement in respect of International registrations of Industrial Designs.
Applications for international registrations, if granted, provide the applicants with protection in all territories in which they have designated. The protection allows them to prevent third parties from making, selling or importing articles for commercial purposes which are substantially similar.
Industrial design applications are those that seek to protect the ornamented or aesthetic aspect of an article. For example, in three dimensional designs, the application may seek to cover the shape of an article or for two dimensional designs, protection may be sought for the pattern or colour of an article.
Rather than members making individual industrial design applications in each country in which they seek protection, the Hague system for the International Registration of Industrial Designs allows an applicant to make a single international application which could have effect in over 64 territories…or soon to be 66. That is of course, assuming that each member state accepts the industrial design application.
As of 13 May 2015, Japan and the United States of America will be included within the territories that accept the single international filing application system. This is a major progression for the international system as the inclusion of two key territories will be a significant attraction for the system.
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