Now that the Brexit transition period is over, newly-filed EU Community Registered Designs will no longer provide registered design protection in the UK.
However, thanks to the Hague International Design System, in many cases it will still be possible to obtain registered design protection in both the EU and UK via a single, cost-effective registered design application.
What is a Hague design?
The Hague design system provides a means of obtaining protection for up to 100 different designs in up to 91 countries via a single registration. Further countries are regularly joining the system.
The application and registration process is centrally administered by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). When an application is filed, WIPO performs an initial formal examination and then forwards the application to the relevant IP Offices in each of the designated jurisdictions for them to determine if the application complies with the relevant domestic legislation. If an IP Office has any objections, the design application will undergo a separate examination process for that jurisdiction only. If the objections are overcome, or if no objections are raised at all (which is by far the most common outcome), then the international registration will be granted in that jurisdiction.
Because the EU and the UK are both parties to the Hague agreement, registered design protection in these jurisdictions can be obtained by filing a single Hague design application. Other countries that are parties to the Hague agreement include the EEA countries Norway and Switzerland, and the USA, Canada and Japan.
What are the costs?
The total cost associated with filing a Hague design application designating both the EU and the UK is significantly less expensive than filing separate UK and Community Registered Design applications, and the cost saving increases when multiple designs are filed in a single application.
Where can I find out more?
A Hague design application may not be suitable in all instances, so if you are seeking to protect a design in the UK, Europe, or further afield, please speak to Matt or one of our attorneys who can advise you on a suitable filing strategy.