Hague Agreement

There are a large number of international legal agreements, treaties, conventions and protocols that include the place-name “Hague” in the their common title, so it is wise to be certain of what is being referred to. With respect to intellectual property, the Hague Agreement usually refers to the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs. An international agreement that provides for registering a protectable design in multiple jurisdictions while making a single deposit of the design in one member jurisidiction.

A messy aspect of the Hague Agreement is that there are in fact multiple treaties, the London Act of June 2, 1934, the Hague Act of November 28, 1960, and the Geneva Act of July 2, 1999. Each act is only effective between signatories of that act – i.e., the 1934 Act between 1934 Act states, the 1960 (Hague) Act between its signatories and the 1999 Geneva Act between its signatories. Significantly the EU, US and Japan have only entered into the 1999 Geneva Act and so deposits at the European Union Intellectual Property Office of industrial designs are only effective with other signatories of the Geneva Act. At the time of writing 64 countries has ratified the Geneva Act. At the time of writing some large economies are still not parties to the Hague Agreement.

An important international legal convention is the Hague Convention of November 15, 1965 on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Document in Civil or Commercial Matters – which relates to the service of international legal processes (cases), and another is the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence in Civil or Commercial Matters.