International design system: Accessions by Japan and the United States of America

Published onFebruary 2015

Two of the world’s biggest economies, namely the United States of America and Japan, will join the Hague system for the International Registration of Industrial Designs on May 13th, 2015.

The international design system provides a variety of centralized administrative procedures to protect and manage a design in one or several member countries, among which the European Union.

The international registration follows the same registration proceedings and has the same effect as a registration in each of the designated contracting parties, as if the design had been registered directly with each national office.

Still, applicants of Community designs, usually registered in a few days, are likely to be surprised by the very thorough examination performed by the USPTO, which checks the validity of the model including its novelty.

Where good design becomes crucial to a business’ success, any help to facilitate its protection is of major importance. In that context, the accession of the United States and Japan is expected to boost further expansion of the international design system and encourage other countries to consider joining the Hague Agreement, to the benefit of the designers and innovating companies.