Benelux Become Member of the 1999 Act

September 27, 2018

On September 18, 2018, the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands deposited the instrument of ratification (for the European part of the Netherlands) of the Geneva (1999) Act of the Hague Agreement with the International Bureau of WIPO.  The instrument of ratification by the Netherlands was the last instrument deposited by the Benelux countries (Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands).

The total number of the Contracting Parties to the 1999 Act is now 58. The 1999 Act will enter into force in the three Benelux countries on December 18, 2018. 

The three Benelux countries have made a declaration to the effect that the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) is the common Office for the three Benelux countries.  Consequently, for the application of The Hague Agreement, the territories of Belgium and Luxembourg and the territory of the Netherlands in Europe are deemed to be a single Contracting Party.

Companies and designers from Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have been using the Hague System to protect their industrial designs since 1984 based on the membership of the Benelux countries to the Hague (1960) Act and since 2008 through the European Union’s membership to the Geneva (1999) Act.

As of December 18, 2018, Hague applicants with an entitlement under the Geneva (1999) Act will enjoy more flexibility in their filing strategies as they will have the choice between designating Benelux individually under that Act or designating the European Union as a whole.

Legal details

The instrument of ratification of the 1999 Act by Belgium was deposited on June 7, 2013, and the instrument of accession by Luxembourg on September 3, 2013.  Each of the instruments deposited includes the following declarations under the 1999 Act:

  • Article 4(1)(b) (prohibition of filing through the BOIP),
  • Article 11(1)(a) (the deferment period is shorter than 30 months),
  • Article 17(3)(c) (duration of protection), and
  • Article 19 (1) (common Office of several States).

About the Hague system

The Hague System offers a cost-effective, efficient means of registering industrial designs. A single application allows you to register up to 100 industrial designs in 69 countries and intergovernmental organizations. By using Hague, you do away with the need to file applications in each individual country/region.

One application, one set of fees, and all in one language – industrial design registration made easy!