On 13th March, the UK government completed the ratification of the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s (WIPO) Hague Agreement after depositing the instrument of ratification in Geneva. UK businesses have enjoyed access to the Agreement since 2008 via EU membership. But, given Brexit – and that the UK was not a contracting party in its own right – ratification was necessary.

Administered by WIPO, the Agreement allows applicants to register industrial designs in 67 countries in a single application.

Intellectual Property Office (IPO) Chief Executive, Tim Moss, believes the agreement will allow businesses to continue to save money on registrations, encourage non-UK owners to register in the UK, and streamline protections. The IPO noted that UK design businesses generate more than 11% of the UK’s GDP – and that the total investment in intangible assets protected by design rights is more than £14 billion.