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Saudi Arabia Set to Host 2024 Diplomatic Conference to Conclude Design Law Treaty

Geneva, October 9, 2023

WIPO member states have approved Saudi Arabia’s capital city Riyadh as the host of a November 11-22, 2024, diplomatic conference to finalize negotiations of a proposed Design Law Treaty (DLT).

The future treaty aims to streamline the global system for protecting industrial designs, making it easier, faster and more affordable for designers to protect their work in home markets as well as overseas. A diplomatic conference represents the final-stage treaty negotiation.

An industrial design is the ornamental aspect of an article. It enhances a product’s appeal, adding to its commercial value and marketability. Designs are applied to a variety of products, from medical instruments and electrical appliances to jewelry, furniture and even digital objects.

Design protection is more than just a legal right; it is a gateway to new markets and good jobs, to sustaining communities and catalyzing growth. Many designers have limited or no legal support, and any time spent on registering their designs is time spent away from creating. We must make the process of registering designs as effortless as possible. I want to thank Saudi Arabia for offering to host the diplomatic conference and I call on all member states to work together to push this proposed treaty over the finish line for the benefit of designers everywhere.

WIPO Director General Daren Tang

It is an honor for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to host the Diplomatic Conference to conclude the Design Law Treaty (DLT) which is a sign of the importance that Saudi Arabia attaches to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem. We look forward to receiving WIPO member states for this last leg of negotiations to conclude this Treaty,

Dr. Abdulaziz AlSwailem, CEO of the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP)

Last year’s WIPO General Assembly approved the holding of a diplomatic conference for the DLT and today’s decision by member states in a special preparatory committee set the location and timing for the final-stage treaty negotiation. 

The DLT would make it significantly easier for designers, especially smaller scale designers and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), to register their work. The DLT would deal with the procedures for obtaining industrial design protection, but not with questions such as the legal definition of design or the conditions for protection, which would remain within the purview of the contracting parties.

Similar treaties already exist in other intellectual property (IP) categories, including patents and trademarks. The DLT aims to fill the gap in the area of industrial designs.

Domestic industrial design applications accounted for 82 percent of the total design filings in 2021, the latest year for which full figures exist, showing the potential for increased filing across borders that would be made easier through streamlined registration processes.

About WIPO

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the United Nations agency that serves the world’s innovators and creators, ensuring that their ideas travel safely to the market and improve lives everywhere.

We do so by providing services that enable creators, innovators and entrepreneurs to protect and promote their intellectual property (IP) across borders and acting as a forum for addressing cutting-edge IP issues. Our IP data and information guide decisionmakers the world over. And our impact-driven projects and technical assistance ensure IP benefits everyone, everywhere.

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