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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hague design filing in SE Asia

The Hague international designs system allows for a single design application to be filed with WIPO for protection in multiple markets. Applicants must be from a contracting state. The Hague system has two separate treaties but the 1999 agreement is increasingly popular. It is ASEAN policy for its 10 South East Asian members to join Hague. Singapore is already a member and discussions are ongoing in several other SE Asian states now. Indonesia's draft design amendment law refers to Hague.

Filing can be done electronically at WIPO or through national offices. Care must be taken when designating Japan and the US as there are additional requirements. WIPO only examines the formalities. Upon publication each national office may substantively examine the design, based on their own domestic legislation.

The major benefit of the system is the significant cost reduction and multi-country protection which will help designers in South East Asia tremendously.

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