The UK Intellectual Property Minister recently announced the UK will ratify the Hague Agreement for the International Registration of Industrial Designs by 31 March 2018 and is due to launch the service from 6 April 2018.

The Hague Agreement allows applicants to seek protection of registered designs/design patents in over 66 territories with one single application, representing a cost-effective solution to multi-regional design protection.

The European Union (EU) has been a Hague member for many years and so design protection in the UK is available through the Hague system by virtue of the UK’s membership of the EU.  Now the UK is no longer a member of the EU following the Brexit in June 2016 to leave the EU this has resulted in the need for the UK to join the Hague Agreement as a country in its own right.

The announcement of this latest legal develop is good news for applicants both in the UK and overseas but with UK business interests.