The Hague Agreement concerning the international registration of industrial designs was drawn up in 1925 and applies to the international registration of designs. The Benelux is part of this international treaty.
Subjects of member states (and individuals or parties who live or are established in a member state) can acquire protection in the countries affiliated to the Convention by means of an international application.
The international application has to be submitted directly to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (the WIPO), which is located in Geneva (Switzerland). The forms for filing the application can be obtained from the WIPO. In contrast to an international trademark application, an international design application does not require a basic registration in the Benelux. The international application offers the possibility to acquire protection directly and by means of a single application in all or some of the member states, including the Benelux countries. In your application you should indicate for which countries you wish to have protection.
An international design should, in effect, be regarded as a bundle of national designs acquired in one go at a (significantly) lower rate than if you file an application at each of the national offices individually. This means that, apart from a number of specific provisions relating to the duration of the protection, the protection of your design is subject to the national laws of the various countries in question.
Please contact our Information Centre for information about the relevant procedure.