China Joins The Hague System for the International Registration of Indutrial Designs. What does it mean?


China’s long-awaited accession to the Hague Agreement for the international registration of industrial designs finally took place when it deposited its instrument of accession on 5 February 2022. The 1999 Act of the Hague Agreement will enter into force in China on 5 May 2022.


China’s accession makes the Hague System more attractive to applicants seeking protection in numerous countries. The total number of countries that belong to the Hague System is now 94 and it includes the world’s top economic markets.Thus, from 5 May 2022 it will also be possible to obtain design protection in China by means of an international industrial design application through the Hague System. It will be easier for Chinese applicants to extend protection of their designs outside China, and it will also be easier for applicants from other countries to extend protection of their designs to China, one of the world’s biggest markets in almost all sectors.


  This accession to the Hague System does not apply to the territories of Hong Kong and Macao, where it will still be necessary to apply locally for protection of designs.  

China’s accession to the Hague System can be added to the main advantages of international registration, which are the following:

  • Application and renewal procedures centralized at the International Bureau (WIPO).
  • Payment of one set of fees, which is normally less expensive than filing several national applications.
  • Straightforward handling of recordals of changes to the owner’s name or address and changes of ownership.