Position : Home->News->IP News

China joins the Hague System

Published on 02/18 2022  Source: Translated from CNIPA Website Chinese Version


China deposited its instrument of accession to the Geneva Act (1999) of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs (hereinafter referred to as "Hague Agreement") on February 5, 2022. The Hague Agreement will become effective for China on May 5, 2022.

The Hague Agreement governs the international registration of industrial designs. Together with the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Patent Cooperation Treaty, they constitute the three mechanisms of protection for specific industrial property rights, administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization. The Hague Agreement enables an applicant to file a single international design application which may have the effect of an application for protection for the design(s) in the Contracting Parties to the Hague Agreement designated in the application.

The Hague Agreement was first adopted on November 6, 1925. In 1999, a new Act of this agreement was adopted and entered into force on April 1, 2004. Recent years have seen an increase in the number of Contracting Parties and the influence of the Hague System. As of January 24, 2022, there were 76 Contracting Parties to the Hague System and 67 Contracting Parties to the 1999 Act, including 65 countries and two intergovernmental organizations.

China's accession to the Hague Agreement will facilitate its integration in the world design protection system, enhance the innovative capacity of the design community in China, and push "Created in China", "Designed in China" and "Made in China" to go global. In turn, it will contribute to the development of international industrial design and a better world. In the meantime, it will give a stronger impetus to China's deep engagement in the global IPR governance within the framework of the WIPO.

On June 1, 2021, China's newly amended Patent Law officially came into force, which increases design patent term from 10 to 15 years. This amendment enables China to sign on to the Hague Agreement, which requires a 15-year term for designs. After the amendments to the Patent Law were all approved, China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) started the internal process required for the accession immediately and completed the work with the strong support of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In January this year, China officially joined the 1999 Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement upon the approval of the State Council.

Going forward, the CNIPA will continue its efforts to revise the Rules for the Implementation of the Patent Law of the People's Republic of China and the Patent Examination Guidelines, and improve the examination of design application under the Hague Agreement. In addition, efforts will also be made to ensure supporting facilities. For example, the information system and the payment system are put in place, making it more convenient for Chinese and foreign applicants to register their industrial designs under the Hague Agreement for protection.