February 5, 2022
China has joined the Hague System bringing the total number of countries covered to 94. The Government of China deposited its instrument of accession to the 1999 Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement on February 5, 2022. China is the 68th contracting party to the 1999 Act and 77th member of the Hague Union.
With China’s accession, the Hague System will now cover nine out of ten of the world’s top economic markets (World Bank rankings).
As a non-resident, from May 5, 2022 you will be able to secure international design protection in China, facilitating expansion of your business into one of the world’s largest and most dynamic markets. In parallel, companies and designers in China will be able to quickly and easily seek international protection of their designs in as many of the 94 countries covered by the Hague System as desired, helping them expand into international markets.
From the earliest ornamental products made by our Stone Age ancestors to the modern day haute couture we see on runways across the globe, designers enrich, excite and enliven us. Designers are also playing a bigger role in shaping the look and feel of the products we use every day – from household products and mobile phones to virtual designs. China’s accession to the Hague System means that the design community in China will find it easier to protect and bring their designs out of China, and overseas designers will find it easier to move their designs into one of the world's largest and most-dynamic markets.WIPO Director General Daren Tang
To ensure that the international procedural mechanism of the Hague System accommodates their own domestic requirements, Hague System contracting parties can make certain declarations. China’s instrument of accession includes the following (full details will be available soon):
|Additional mandatory elements of the international application||Brief explanation of the characteristic features of the design(s) required||Article 5(2)(b)(ii)|
|Designation fees||Individual designation fee applies||Article 7(2)|
|Designs / reproductions||Requirement of unity of design;
Specific views of designs required
|Refusals||Extension to 12 months of the refusal period||Rule 18(1)(b)|
|Date of effect of the international registration||Extension up to six months;
Unintentional late communication after the 12-month refusal period
|Rules 18(1)(c)(i) and (ii)|
|Other||Supporting documents for a change in ownership required||Article 16(2)|
WIPO's Hague System provides a unique international mechanism for securing and managing design rights simultaneously in more than 90 countries through one application, in one language with one set of fees.