For international patent protection for design inventions, there is the Hague International Industrial Design patent application. On the international stage, new unique industrial designs are protectable in many countries all at once using the Hague international patent application.

The World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) manages the international patent applications. WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information, and cooperation. Through WIPO, for design patents, there is the Hague application or Hague International Industrial Design application.

Also through WIPO, for utility and plant inventions, there is the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application. When seeking patent protection in multiple countries, consulting a licensed patent practitioner is advised. Schedule a free patent consultation below to get started seeking patent protection for your invention.

Patent Attorney Writing the Patent Application

Hague (International Industrial Design) Applications – Design Inventions

The Hague Agreement is an international treaty that allows for the filing of a single international design application that can cover multiple countries. First established in 1925, the Hague System has since been updated multiple times, with the most recent update being in 1999. The Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs provides a practical business solution for registering up to 100 designs in 74 contracting parties covering 91 countries. All of this can be done through the filing of a single international application.

The Hague applications are international industrial design patent applications. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) manages Hague applications. Filing a complete and proper Hague international application results in patent pending status in participating countries where protection is sought.

A single international application in a single language is filed for design patent protection. This process provides a cost-efficient way to obtain international design protection. Instead of having to file separate applications in each country, a single international application can be filed directly with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) or indirectly through the patent office in your country. This system also offers a centralized system for managing design protection with one renewal fee and one set of rules for all designated countries.

Schedule a Free Patent Consultation with Patent Attorney Greg Carson

Carson Patents can file Hague (International Industrial Design) applications at both WIPO and the USPTO. Filing a Hague application results in international patent pending for your new design invention.

Filing a Hague International Industrial Design Patent Application

Getting your new unique design patent pending on the international stage really only requires a complete and proper Hague application. To file this international design application, the applicant must meet all the requirements of the Hague Agreement for it to be accepted. As with utility and plant patent applications, it is recommended to seek professional advice from a patent attorney or patent agent who has patenting experience in filing international design applications under the Hague System to ensure that the application is prepared correctly and meets all the necessary requirements.

There are three requirements necessary to use a Hague international design application. The three requirements are not difficult to meet but are essential in order to file a Hague international design application for your new unique design invention. The three requirements to file a Hague international design application for your new unique design invention are as follows:

  1. The first requirement has to do with the type of invention being patented. The Hague application form is only applicable to design patents. This covers industrial or handcraft designs that are new and have unique characteristics.
  2. The second requirement makes it necessary for the applicant to be a citizen of a member country. If this is not the case, having an established industrial or commercial business in a member country will also be acceptable.
  3. The third requirement is that the application must be filed in one of the official languages of the Hague System: English, French, or Spanish.
Patent Attorney Filing the Patent Application

What must be Included with a Hague Design Patent Application

In order to file a complete and proper Hague application, there are four elements that must be provided. You must include: (1) a graphical representation of the invention, (2) a description of the design, (3) the designation of countries, and (4) the filing fees. The four elements of a complete and proper Hague international design application for your new unique design invention in more detail:

  1. The Hague application must include a representation of the design. This design representation can be drawings, photographs, or other graphical representations. This visual must clearly show the design for which protection is sought. In addition to this, a description of the design in detail is also necessary. This typically takes the form of drawings or photographs from each of the six ordinal views (front, back, right, left, top, and bottom).
  2. The description should be detailed and provide information about the various elements of the design and their features. There are limits on the number of words and characters that can be included in the description element of a complete and proper Hague international design patent application.
  3. The applicant must also designate the countries where protection is being sought which is up to 90 countries. The application itself has a fee, and each country where protection is being sought also has a filing fee. The number and choice of countries where protection is sought directly impacts the filing fee required for a Hague international design patent application.
  4. To complete the filing process, a filing fee must be paid to WIPO. The amount of the fee varies depending on the number of designs being included in the application and the number of countries where protection is sought.

Once a Hague application is filed, it is inspected by the International Bureau to ensure that it meets the requirements of the Hague Agreement and that everything is completed and paid for properly. If the application is accepted, it will be published in the International Designs Bulletin which is available online to the public. The application is also transmitted to the designated countries where it is subject to examination prior to grant of protection. In the U.S. for American citizens, Hague international design patent applications are usually accompanied by a U.S. design patent application to start the patent examination process as soon as possible in the U.S.