International Designs

Design registration is territorial, and gives you rights in the countries in which you register, so it’s necessary to register your design in each country where you will use it.  If you will only use your design in the UK or EU, find out more here about: design registration.

For other territories, it is possible to secure design registration in many countries through a single application, via the Hague System.

  • With a single application, you can designate any or all of the countries in the Hague System.
  • Unlike trademarks, you do not need to base an international design on an existing application or registration.
  • To use the Hague system, you must either be a national of one of these countries, be based there, or have a real and effective presence.
  • You can apply to register up to 100 different designs within one application, provided that they are all used for a similar purpose.

For countries which are not part of the Hague System, we help you to register designs through our network of local agents.

International design registration process

The requirements for registration vary from country to country.  In some countries designs are examined to check whether they conflicts with earlier rights, whereas in other territories such as the UK and EU, only a very brief examination is carried out during the design registration process.  If you commissioned the design, some countries may require you to provide evidence that ownership has been transferred to you, and we can help you address these requirements, and let you know what other information is required, for example the classification of your design and the supply of drawings and descriptions.

When registering your design internationally, we will ask you for information and documentation so we can draft your application, then:

  • we file it with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), and pay the official fees.
  • it is examined by WIPO to ensure that the correct fees have been paid, and that drawings of the designs are of sufficient quality.
  • assuming that there are no defects, it is then published by WIPO (although you can defer publication if you prefer, for example if you have yet to launch your product).
  • once published, each country designated in your application then examines it based on their local law.
  • if there are no objections within 6-12 months, your design is registered and granted the same protection as if it had been registered directly in each country.

What next?

For further help call us on +44 (0) 20 7700 1414.