The Hague Agreement is an international registration system for industrial designs. This agreement provides for the protection of industrial designs in several countries and organisations by means of a single international design application, filed with the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland. The design application must designate the countries in which the applicant wishes to secure design protection. In other words, a single international design application may be filed designating several countries instead of having to file separate national applications in each country.
An international design registration has, in each designated country, the same effect as if the design had been registered in the country concerned and is subject to the relevant national law. The designated countries retain the right to exclude from protection any designs that do not qualify for protection under their national laws.
In terms of the Hague Agreement, multiple designs may be included in a single design application but all products relating to the design must fall in the same class under the Locarno classification. Revocation proceedings may be brought against a registered design on the grounds that it does not qualify for protection in terms of the national law of any of the designated countries.
Currently, 14 African countries as well as the regional organisation OAPI (Organization Africaine de la Propriete Intellectuelle) are contracting parties to the Hague Agreement.
25 African countries may be covered by a Hague design application. Those in bold are members of OAPI.
Central African Republic
Congo (Republic of)
Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
São Tomé and Príncipe
Union of the Comoros