China has joined the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) Hague System for the international registration of industrial designs, marking an important development for the international design system and the global IP ecosystem.
China's entry into the Hague system will make it easier for the design community to protect and promote their work abroad, making it easier (and cheaper, thanks to a fixed fee mechanism) for both Chinese designers to protect themselves abroad and for foreign designers to protect themselves in the Chinese market. In 2020, Chinese residents filed a total of 795,504 designs, representing about 55% of the world total.
The Hague system, in fact, allows a single international application to be filed with the World Register to register up to 100 designs in more than 90 participating countries, eliminating the need to file separate and multiple applications in individual territories.
The adhesion of one of the most populous countries in the world to the Hague system demonstrates how the design tool (to protect the appearance of a product such as the characteristics of lines, contours, colours, shape, surface structure and/or materials) represents an increasingly effective method to protect one's creativity and lends itself to supporting the ingenuity of designers in every sector and era.
Just think how, in recent years marked by the pandemic, design registrations for medical and personal safety items have increased, showing the relevance of design innovation as part of global efforts to curb COVID-19.
China's final accession is scheduled for 5 May 2022.