The system for international registration of industrial designs offers the possibility to protect their designs in several countries by filing a single application in only one language.

Is meant by industrial design (either 3D model or 2D drawing) all formal innovation referring to features of appearance of the product or its ornamentation. I.e, any object that could serve as a pattern for the manufacture of a product and that can be described by its structure, configuration, ornamentation or representation.


Industrial designs make a product attractive for the consumer, and its protection:

  • Increases performance of invested capital
  • Promotes economic development
  • Promotes creativity and contributes to the expansion of commercial activity.

Usually, an industrial design must be “new”, meaning by the concept of novelty a design which is not similar nor identical to anyone else existing. 

Under the Hague Agreement regarding the international registration of industrial designs, treaty ruled by the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization based in Geneva), an international registration procedure is planned. According to that, the applicant may file only one international application designating all member States of the Agreement in which he wish to obtain protection for the design. 

The number of industrial designs included in this international application shall not exceed 100.

The process for the registration of an international industrial design is subject to legislative specifications of each territory, but the following scheme could be considered as a reference for general procedure:

International Design  Registration

The process for international design registration:

  • Filing of the application.
  • Formal and substantial examination.
  • Publication in the official Journal of International Designs (6 months from the moment of the application).
  • Period for the filing of oppositions.
  • Granting or denial (6 months from the publication).

Generally, once granted, the protection is valid for a period of 5 years, renewable for periods up to 15 years in most cases (in Spain and the European Union for example are 25 years).

The owner of a registered industrial design has the right to prevent unauthorized reproduction or imitation of the design by third parties.

Do you need to register an international industrial design?



In many areas the following types of designs are excluded from protection:

  • Designs which does not meet the requirements of novelty, originality and uniqueness.
  • Designs responding only to technical feature of a product; it might be possible to protect technical or functional characteristics of such designs, according to the circumstances, by other intellectual property rights (eg patents, utility models or trade secrets).
  • Designs including symbols or official badges (as the national flag). 
  • Designs that are considered contrary to public order and morality.

In some countries, handicrafts are excluded from protection as designs, since national legislation requires the product applied to be protected as industrial design has to be “an article of manufacture” or that can be replicated by “industrial means”.

The protection of industrial designs, except for rare cases like the case of registered Community designs, is limited to the granting country.

Therefore, the system of international industrial design registration offers the possibility to protect your designs in several countries by filing a single application made in one language (Spanish, French or English).

The international registration produces the same effects as an application for design registration made in each of the designated countries.

In the same way, the Hague system also simplifies the management and subsequent control of industrial designs, considering that subsequent changes may be registered or renew the registration through a single administrative proceeding before the WIPO.

Contracting Parties to the Hague Agreement (Total 64)

African Intellectual Property Organization (OAPI), Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, European Union (EU), Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Niger, Norway, Oman, Poland, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Suriname, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United States of America.

The owner of an industrial design shall have six months of international priority, either to file an application for an international industrial design coming from a national one (Article 4 of the Paris Convention) or to file an international application in a non-contracting country of the Hague Agreement.

An Intellectual property agency will be the perfect ally to advise and inform you about the process of international design registration. Besides, will be able to manage the registers, to represent you and defend your interests in any territory with all the guarantees. This is the case of Protectia Patentes y Marcas.

Would you like to register an international industrial design?