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China joins Hague International designs system

8 February 2022

China has now ratified the Hague Agreement for the International Registration of Industrial Designs. This means that from 5 May 2022 China can be designated in new international design applications under the Hague system.

International design applications allow applicants to submit a single design application to the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Office and obtain design protection in up to 68 contracting parties, which include all European Union (EU) member states, the UK, USA, South Korea, Japan and Russia (Hague Contracting Parties). The fees are calculated according to the number of designs and which territories have been selected, and are, conveniently, paid to a single entity.

The Hague system therefore provides a streamlined, cost-effective process for obtaining and renewing design protection in several countries. With China’s accession, the Hague system will cover 9 out of 10 of the world’s top economic markets.

As always with the Hague system, designers will need to consider carefully whether the mutual requirements of several designated countries in a Hague design application affords the most appropriate protection or whether filing nationally in some countries is more suitable. China’s move to allow protection for partial designs in 2021 will have made the Hague system more attractive but there remain other Chinese requirements such as sufficient views of the design and a restriction on multiple designs in the same application that are more constraining than in, say, the EU or the UK.

Withers & Rogers’ Designs Group is available to help navigate these nuances to ensure designers can obtain the most suitable, cost-effective protection for their designs.


Richard Worthington
Designs Group


This publication is a general summary of the law. It should not replace legal advice tailored to your specific circumstances.

© Withers & Rogers LLP February 2022