In a series of recent announcements, Israel, Vietnam, and Samoa have each recently deposited their instrument of accession to the Geneva Act (1999) of the Hague Agreement, thus bringing the overall number of members to the Hague design registration system up to 73.

Under the Hague design registration system, it is possible to obtain registered design protection in a number of territories around the world (including the UK; Germany; the EU; USA; and Japan) via the use of a single registered design application applied for centrally at WIPO - based in Geneva, Switzerland.

The accession of these latest three countries to the Hague design registration system, which will all be selectable in a single Hague design application as from 03 January 2020, follows a string of recent other accessions from notable other countries, including the likes of Canada and Russia. And with China rumoured to be joining the Hague design registration system in the future, it is clear that the Hague design registration system continues to go from strength to strength in its goal of offering international design registration protection across all territories of the world.

Whilst in principal the Hague design registration system offers a convenient, and cost effective way, to obtain protection in a number of territories around the world simultaneously, for those considering the use of the Hague system, care must still be taken to ensure that any drawings used in a Hague registered design application will be considered acceptable before the design registries of all territories that are designated in the application, noting it is not possible to use different drawings for different territories designated in the application. This requirement to use the same drawings for all territories in the application can in practice can cause difficulties when designating a large number of territories, noting some territories (such as Japan and the USA) have somewhat stricter requirements as to how the drawings must be presented compared with other territories from the system which have more liberal requirements (such as the UK and the EU).