Filing international design applications

Designs are territorial and only provide protection in the country in which they are registered. This means that you must file separate design applications in each country where protection is required. There are options for making the process of obtaining multiple international designs more straightforward, efficient and cost effective.

As well as directly handling the filing and examination of UK, EU and International (Hague) applications, we work closely with carefully chosen overseas attorneys to obtain design protection outside these jurisdictions. We’ve protected designs in virtually every territory in the world where design protection is available.

Once you’ve filed your first design application in either the UK or EU, there is a six-month window in which to file additional applications. If filed within this window, the overseas applications will be back-dated to the same filing date as your first application — this is referred to as claiming ‘priority’.

There are three routes for obtaining protection outside the UK:

  • National applications

You can file separate national design applications in each country where protection is required.

  • Hague application

An international design application, referred to as a ‘Hague’ application, provides a bundle of national design rights. However, the system is centrally administered through WIPO, which can result in substantial cost savings and easier administration.

  • EU Design application

A single design application filed at the EU Intellectual Property Office provides design protection across all EU member states.


For more information, contact us.

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