International design

The international registration of designs is governed by The Hague Agreement. The Benelux is a signatory to this international convention. Subjects of Member States can obtain protection in the countries that are signatories to the Agreement by filing an international application.

For this purpose, you will need to file the international application directly with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland. You can obtain the forms needed to file the application from WIPO. Unlike an international trademark application, you do not need a basic registration in the Benelux for an international design application. An international application makes it possible to obtain protection in all or some of the EU Member States directly and by means of a single application. You indicate the countries in which you want protection in the application.

An international design is in fact a bundle of national designs which you secure through a single application. The fee is lower than it would be if the designs were filed at the individual national offices. Protection of the design is always governed by the domestic law of the individual countries specified in the bundle, with the exception of some specific provisions regarding the protection duration.

For more information about international design registration, please contact our Information Centre or WIPO.