Extend your design protection in China through Hague System: Timing and Advice

  Published on February 8, 2022

On February 5, 2022, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) announced that China joined the Hague System for the International Registration of Industrial Designs effective May 5, 2022 [1]. From May 5, 2022 on, protecting design in China through Hague System becomes available for international designers.

Hague system provides a convenient and cost effective way to extend their design protection in China. Foreign designers will have easier access to the Chinese market, using one application and one set of fees to file for protection in 94 countries including China when its accession comes into force on May 5, 2022. The applicant simply designates China in the international design application and it will be extended to China. If there is any defects that require rectification, China National Intellectual Property Administration (hereinafter referred as “CNIPA”) will issue Office Action and the applicant would be provided opportunity to submit amendment and / or observation.

Since the updated Patent Examination Guideline has not come out yet, detailed requirements for international application designating China are not yet clear. However, there is a suggestion the applicant may keep in mind to avoid substantive defects for extension in China. In the current Chinese design practice, it is required to submit 6-view (left, right, front, back, top, bottom and perspective) drawings + perspective view drawing to sufficiently disclose the design. If less than 6 views have been submitted and perspective view is not available, providing missing view(s) may not be accepted by CNIPA because such submission may be deemed as new matters beyond the original disclosure. Therefore, for international application, it is suggested to include at least 6-view drawings and perspective view drawing to avoid the substantive objection in China.

[1] https://www.wipo.int/pressroom/en/articles/2022/article_0001.html